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Michigan launches online application for absentee ballots

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Posted at 2:18 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 19:00:14-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Secretary of State's office announced Friday Michiganders can submit absentee ballot applications online.

The announcement comes less than a month after the department said it would send an absentee ballot application to every voter in the state.

People can go online and digitally submit their absentee application at Michigan.gov/Vote.

Related: All Michigan voters will get an application to vote by mail for August & November elections

“The more choices a person has when it comes to exercising their right to vote, the better they are able to make the choice that works best for them” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “This tool provides another digital option for voters to safely and conveniently apply to receive their absentee ballot, while also offering clerks an easy, cost efficient way of processing the application securely.”

Related: Trump threatens to withhold Michigan funding after state's decision to mail absentee ballot applications

People can already submit applications digitally by scanning and emailing the applications to clerks, but now, they can do it online with their driver's license number and last four digits of the social security.

Related: Michigan Secretary of State offers correction to President Trump's tweet on 'absentee ballots'

Then, they can send the handwritten signature they provided for their driver's license and completed application to the local clerk.

Clerks will be alerted of the request and be able to see the application and signature. After verification, local clerks are then able to mail the ballot to the voter within the appropriate timeframe for the election they’ve requested to vote absentee. Voters will continue to cast ballots the same way. They must still mail back paper ballots to the clerk’s office, deposit them in a drop box or cast a ballot in person with the clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Voters must sign the ballot return envelope and the signature must be verified and matched to the voter’s record for the ballot to be counted.

To fill out an online application, registered voters can visit Michigan.gov/Vote and click “Apply for an Absent Voter Ballot Online.”