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2020 Election: Everything you need to know on Election Day

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Posted at 4:10 AM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 04:10:59-05

(WXYZ) — Today is the 2020 general election, and 7 Action News is making sure you have all the information you need as you head to the polls to vote.

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Related: Biden, Trump to make last pitches to voters ahead of Election Day in multi-state campaign blitzes

Split tickets are allowed

While you can't vote "split ticket" during the primary election in Michigan, you can split your ticket during the general election. That means you can vote for individual candidates of your choice in any party.

Voter registration

The deadline has passed to register to vote online or by mail, but you can still register to vote in Michigan in-person at your local clerk's office. You can register at your clerk's office up until 8 p.m. on election day.

Check voter registration status here

To be eligible to register to vote you must be:

  • A Michigan resident (at the time you register) and a resident of your city or township for at least 30 days (when you vote)
  • A United States citizen
  • At least 18 years of age (when you vote)
  • Not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison

You can register when you are 17.5 years old, but you can’t vote until you’re 18.

Proof of residency if registering within two weeks of Election:

If you register within 14 days of Election Day, You must show proof of where you live. Documents must have your name and current address. You can show a digital copy of documents. Acceptable documents include:

  • Michigan driver’s license or state ID
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck or government check
  • Other government document

Bring ID to the polls

You will be asked to show a photo ID at the polls. That includes a driver's license or state-issued ID card, passport, military ID, student ID with a photo from high school or accredited college, tribal ID or any other federal or state government-issued photo ID.

If you do not have photo ID or forgot it, you can still vote. You will have to sign an affidavit stating that you are not in possession of a photo ID.

Sample ballots available online

If you'd like to see what your ballot will look like ahead of the Michigan primary, the Michigan Secretary of State's Office allows you to find your polling location and view a sample ballot that will look just like the one you will see when you arrive. Learn more here.

Don't wear any candidate apparel

According to the SOS, the state has banned election-related materials at the polls for decades. That includes clothing, buttons, pamphlets, flyers and stickers.

You cannot display them and you have to be more than 100 feet away from the entrance to a polling place to display such items.

If you do go to the polls with election-related items, you will be asked to cover it or remove it.

No open-carry of weapons

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced on Oct. 16 that the open-carry of weapons at polls would not be allowed. Local law enforcement agencies will enforce the ban statewide.

“Fair, free and secure elections are the foundation of our democracy,” Benson said in a press release. “I am committed to ensuring all eligible Michigan citizens can freely exercise their fundamental right to vote without fear of threats, intimidation or harassment. Prohibiting the open-carry of firearms in areas where citizens cast their ballots is necessary to ensure every voter is protected.”

Absentee ballot voting

Millions have already voted early in Michigan through absentee, and you can still do so.

If you are already registered, you have until 4 p.m. to vote early in-person on Monday at your local clerk's office.

If you are changing your address or registering for the first time, you can do so in-person at your local clerk's office and get a ballot to vote there.

Michigan has already set a record for the number of absentee ballots requested, but the Michigan Secretary of State is reminding people it's best to drop the ballot off at a drop-box
instead of mailing it back to make sure it gets counted on time. Ballots have to be at the clerk's office by the time the polls close to be counted.

There are hundreds of absentee ballot drop-boxes throughout the state, but you MUST use the one that is in your local designation. You can find your drop box here by clicking "who is my clerk."

Important info if you want to spoil your absentee ballot

You can also track your absentee ballot to see when it was sent and received. Click here.

If you have already voted absentee and wish to change your vote, you can spoil your ballot by submitting a written request to your city or township clerk. You must sign the request and state if they would like a new absentee ballot mailed to them or if they will vote at the polls. This request must be received by 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election if received by mail. An absentee ballot may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 4 p.m. the Monday prior to the election. The voter can obtain a new absentee ballot there or vote at the polls. There is no option on Election Day to spoil an absentee ballot that has been received by the clerk.

Two proposals on the ballot

Michiganders will see two different proposals on the ballot. Proposal 1 deals with funding for Michigan State Parks, while Proposal 2 deals with electronic data and access to your private electronic data by law enforcement. The exact language is below.

Proposal 1

"A proposed constitutional amendment to allow money from oil and gas mining on state-owned lands to continue to be collected in state funds for land protection and creation and maintenance of parks, nature areas, and public recreation facilities; and to describe how money in those state funds can be spent.

This proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Allow the State Parks Endowment Fund to continue receiving money from sales of oil and gas from state-owned lands to improve, maintain and purchase land for State parks, and for Fund administration, until its balance reaches $800,000,000.
  • Require subsequent oil and gas revenue from state-owned lands to go into the Natural Resources Trust Fund.
  • Require at least 20% of Endowment Fund annual spending go toward State park improvement.
  • Require at least 25% of Trust Fund annual spending go toward parks and public recreation areas and at least 25% toward land conservation.

Should this proposal be adopted?"

Proposal 2

"A proposed constitutional amendment to require a search warrant in order to access a person’s electronic data or electronic communications.

This proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Prohibit unreasonable searches or seizures of a person’s electronic data and electronic communications.
  • Require a search warrant to access a person’s electronic data or electronic communications, under the same conditions currently required for the government to obtain a search warrant to search a person’s house or seize a person’s things.

Should this proposal be adopted?"

Michigan Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court has been in the news recently with rulings on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency orders, and there are two seats on the 7-person bench up for election in 2020.

Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack is up for re-election and Justice Stephen Markman is retiring which creates an open seat.

While the general election for the state Supreme Court is nonpartisan, political parties in the state do nominate candidates for State Supreme Court elections.

Democrats nominated Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch, Republicans nominated Brock Swartzle and Mary Beth Kelly, Libertarians nominated Kerry Lee Morgan and Katie Nepton, and a seventh candidate, Susan L. Hubbard, was not nominated by a party.