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Secretary of State: Avoid using the mail for absentee ballot requests, returns

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Posted at 10:47 AM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 10:47:27-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of State is urging people to avoid using the mail when it comes to requesting or returning absentee ballots for the 2020 election.

A spokesperson for the Department of State said that Michiganders should go to their local clerk's office to request a ballot in-person. You can either leave with the ballot, fill it out, sign and seal the envelope and then return it, or fill it out there and drop it off.

Michiganders should also avoid mailing their filled-out ballot, and instead, drop it in a drop-box in your jurisdiction or return it to your local clerk.

Related: Check if you're registered to vote here
Related: How to register to vote in Michigan
Related: Find your polling place in Michigan
Related: How to get an absentee ballot in Michigan
Related: View your sample ballot for the 2020 election

Those who are registered have until 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2 to request an absentee ballot in-person. If you aren't registered, you can register and request an absentee ballot until 8 p.m. on election day.

For those who have requested a ballot by mail but have not received it yet, you can give it a couple of days if you just requested it, but if it's been awhile, it may be better to go to your clerk's office, spoil the requested ballot and get a new one.

The number of absentee ballots requested and returned continues to rise, and with just one week until election day, the Michigan Department of State said there have been 3.1 million ballots requested.

Related: Everything you need to know with 1 week until the election

Of those ballots requested, 2.1 million have been returned, according to the state.

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."

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.