Photo identification is not required to vote in Michigan

Posted at 6:01 AM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-02 08:35:43-04

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is reaching out to more than 100 clerks across the state urging them to inform voters that state law allows voters to cast a ballot with or without photo identification.

In a letter sent to clerks, the ACLU is asking they post clear information about voter identification requirements at voting sites on Tuesday to eliminate confusion.

“It’s simple. If you’re a registered voter in Michigan, you have a right to vote – with or without a photo ID,” said Sharon Dolente, ACLU of Michigan voting rights expert, in a press release.  “This is one of our most important rights as citizens, and the right to vote must be communicated accurately and protected by election officials.”

In a letter to clerks, the ACLU referenced a complaint from a Michigan voter who was denied the opportunity to vote in the August primary.

According to the ACLU, Nicole White, a registered voter in Washtenaw County, tried to cast her ballot and the poll worker did not allow her to vote. White, who does not drive, did not have a current, state-issued photo identification card. 

“I wasn’t sure what my rights were but I assumed I could still vote,” White told the ACLU. “But the poll worker refused and said I ‘just couldn’t vote,’ so I left because I figured they knew the rules better than I did.”

Under Michigan law, registered voters can cast ballots if they don't have a photo ID or failed to bring it with them to the polls. The only requirement is that they sign an affidavit form at their polling location.

“Voters rely on the guidance of election officials to ensure that they can exercise their fundamental right to vote,” said Dolente.  “Poll workers have a legal duty to offer the affidavit to a voter without a picture ID.”

For more information about the voter identification requirement, click here.