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Absentee Voting (Vote by mail)

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Absentee Voting - Vote by Mail

Who is eligible for an Absent Voter (AV) ballot?

Due to the passage of the statewide ballot proposal 18-3 in November 2018,  all registered voters may vote absentee. 

Requesting an Absent Voter Ballot
To request an absent voter ballot you may:
1. Complete an online request at mi.gov/vote
2. Download an absent voter ballot application at mi.gov/vote and return the signed request to the City Clerk's Office.
3. Visit the City Clerk's Office to obtain and submit an application. 
4. Send written and signed correspondence to the City Clerk's Office requesting an absentee ballot. 

Applications can be submitted to the City Clerk's Office in person, by drop box, email, mail, or fax. 
Email: elections@bhamgov.org.  Mail: 151 Martin St., Birmingham MI 48009.  Fax: 248-530-1080. 

Processing an Absent Voter Ballot Request
Your request for an absent voter ballot must be in writing and may be submitted to the City Clerk's Office at City of Birmingham, 151 Martin Street, Birmingham, MI 48009 in person or by mail.  You may also email your request to elections@bhamgov.org, or fax it to 248-530-1080.  Your request may be on an application, a letter, or a postcard. Your request must be signed. Requests to have an absent voter ballot mailed to you must be received by the City Clerk's Office no later than 5 p.m. the Friday before the election.

Once your request is received by the City Clerk's Office, your signature on the request will be checked against your voter registration record before a ballot is issued. Commonly, the signature on your voter registration record will match the signature on your driver's license. You must be a registered voter to receive an absent voter ballot.  Absent voter ballots may be issued to you at your home address or any address outside of Birmingham.

After receiving your absent voter ballot, you have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to complete the ballot and return it to the City Clerk's Office. Your ballot will not be counted unless your signature is on the return envelope and matches your signature on file. If you received assistance voting the ballot, then the signature of the person who helped you must also be on the return envelope. Only you, a family member or person residing in your household, a mail carrier, or election official is authorized to deliver your signed absent voter ballot to your clerk's office.

If an emergency, such as a sudden illness or family death prevents you from reaching the polls on Election Day, you may request an emergency absent voter ballot. Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absent voter ballots has passed but before 4 p.m. on Election Day. The emergency must have occurred at a time which made it impossible for you to apply for a regular absent voter ballot. Please contact the City Clerk's Office at 248-530-1880 for more information about emergency absent voter ballots.

You may request and receive an absent voter ballot in person at the City Clerk's Office on the Saturday prior to the election, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  You may also do so on the Monday before the election, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. On Monday you are required to mark the ballot at the City Clerk's Office.  Voters may not take absent voter ballots out of City Hall on Monday.

Surrendering your Absentee Ballot to Vote in Person

Voters ALWAYS have a choice. If you requested and received your absentee ballot but would prefer to vote in person you can surrender your absentee ballot with an Affidavit of Absent Voter.

Spoiling your Absentee Ballot

Mistakes happen, and that's ok, you can return your spoiled absentee ballot and obtain a new one with a Request to Spoil and Absentee Ballot Form.

Understanding Absentee Voting Applications

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Absent Voter Ballot Application?
An absentee ballot application is not a ballot. By submitting it, voters are requesting to obtain an absentee ballot by mail and vote using that method. Adding your name to the Permanent Absent Voter List means you will receive an absent ballot application in the mail for every election.
Why are voters encouraged to vote by mail in the upcoming elections?
You have the right to vote by mail in every election. Voting by mail is easy, convenient, and secure. During the outbreak of COVID-19, it also enables you to stay home and stay safe while still making your voice heard in our elections. Absent voting has many benefits including avoiding long lines, the ability to maintain social distancing, and time to study the ballot.
Why is it called a "Permanent" Absent Voter List? Does that mean I may no longer vote in person?
No, it does not. Voters should know and understand all of their options, and not feel confused or worried about the word "permanent". If a voter requests and receives an absentee ballot, they can surrender it and vote in person if they wish. Voters always have the choice to vote absentee or in person. Adding your name to the Permanent Absent Voter List means you will receive an absent ballot application in the mail for every election.
Is it possible I may receive an Absent Voter Ballot Application from the City and the State?
Yes. The State is mailing absent voter ballot applications to everyone who is not on the City's permanent absent voter list. The City will be mailing absent voter ballot applications to everyone who is on the permanent absent voter list in mid-June. If you just signed up for the permanent absent voter list, it is possible you may receive a ballot application from the City and the State. It is not necessary to complete both applications; submitting the City's application is sufficient.
What should I do if I plan to move prior to the elections?
Notify your city clerk and visit www.Michigan.gov/Vote to learn how to receive an absentee ballot in your new community.
What should I do if I just moved to Birmingham and received an absent voter ballot application from my old community?
Contact the Birmingham City Clerk's Office at 248-530-1880 to request a new absent voter ballot application. Let your previous City Clerk know that you have moved.
Where can I find more information?
Follow these links for a general voting FAQ and absentee voting information from the State.
I received several Absent Voter Ballot Applications in the mail. How do I know which ones are legitimate?

Look for the logo below to ensure the application is from your City Clerk's office.


The absentee ballot applications from other organizations will  most often suffice as long as it includes all of the correct information.