As Tuesday, Nov. 3, approaches, many Warriors are making plans to vote, whether in person or by mail. While the coronavirus pandemic has changed many aspects of day-to-day activities, civic engagement remains essential — and a key aspect of student life at Wayne State University. To allow all Warriors to participate in the democratic process, the university has recognized Election Day as a campus holiday. Additionally, an on-campus polling location will be open at the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne Law.
WSU is recognized as a “Voter-Friendly Campus” and has student representatives working with the Campus Vote Project to increase civic engagement. As part of their "Warriors Vote" campaign, the Wayne State University Student Senate recently launched Motivote, a one-stop shop for election resources and events. Sign up for Motivote using your WSU email.
Follow these steps to develop a successful voting plan:
1. Register to vote
Most Michigan residents are registered to vote when they get their driver’s license. You can check your registration status at michigan.gov/vote. You can register to vote online or in person. You can register to vote in Michigan if you are a United States citizen, if you are 17.5 years old (you must be 18 years old to vote) and if you will have been a resident of the city or township where you wish to register for 30 days by the time you vote.You may register to vote at any time up to and including Election Day.
- Online registration: The deadline to register to vote online is Oct. 19. To register online, you will need a Michigan’s driver’s license or ID, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number, or a copy of a paycheck stub, bill, bank statement or another government document that includes your name and address. Visit mi.gov/voterregistration.
- In-person registration: After Oct. 19, you can register in person by going to your city or township’s clerk office or a Secretary of State branch. For more information about office locations, visit mvic.sos.state.mi.us/voter.
Note: Your voter registration and driver’s license addresses must match: As a college student, you have the option of claiming your campus address as your principal residence or maintaining your hometown address as your principal residence.
2. Decide if you want to vote in person or by mail
Everyone who is registered to vote in Michigan can vote by mail this year, but you need to apply to receive an absentee ballot.
- If you plan to vote by mail, you must complete the form at mvic.sos.state.mi.us/avapplication to receive an absentee ballot and deliver it (by mail or in person) to your city or township’s clerk’s office. Remember to act early to accommodate any mail delays.
- If you plan to vote in person, find your polling location at mvic.sos.state.mi.us/voter. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.
3. Do your research and vote!
Preview your ballot online at mvic.sos.state.mi.us and take advantage of free, non-partisan resources to help you decide how you want to vote. Be sure to fill in your ballot clearly and completely using a black or blue pen as directed.
- If you are voting by mail: Remember to keep the secrecy sleeve (the brown envelope with instructions) that was mailed with your absentee ballot, and put your completed ballot in the secrecy sleeve before putting them both in the return envelope to mail. Be sure to sign the front of the return envelope and check for postage requirements. You can return your ballot by mail, or in person. To accommodate postal delays, it is recommended that you return ballot by mail no later than Oct. 19; after Oct. 19, ballots can be hand-delivered to your clerk’s office through 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. Track your ballot online at mvic.sos.state.mi.us/home/voteathome#arrive.
- If you’re voting in person early: If you’re already registered to vote in Michigan, you can visit your city or township clerk’s office any time up to 4 P.M. on Nov. 2 to request your ballot, complete it at the office, and return the ballot to the clerk. If you are not registered to vote in Michigan, you can register, request your absentee ballot, complete it, and return it all in one trip up to 8 P.M. on Election Day. You can register to vote and cast an absentee ballot at the clerk’s office in the same trip.
- If you're voting in person on Election Day: Visit your polling location anytime from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. You have the right to vote if you are line by 8 p.m. You will be asked to show ID before given a ballot, but if you don’t have one, you can still vote. If you don’t have an ID, a poll worker will ask you to sign a form explaining that you didn’t have an ID.
- Monday, Oct. 19: Last day to register to vote online or by mail. Beginning Oct. 20 through 8 p.m. on Election Day, you must visit the city or township clerk’s office where you live and provide proof of residency to vote.
- Friday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.: Last day for your city or township clerk to receive your mail-in ballot request. To accommodate for mail delays, it is advised that you request a ballot by Oct. 20 or vote early in person at your clerk’s office.
- Monday, Nov. 2: Last day to vote early in person at your clerk’s office.
- Tuesday, Nov. 3 (Election Day): Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mail-in ballots must be returned in person by 8 p.m.
Campus Voter Engagement Events
- Tuesday, Oct. 20: Vanburen Township clerk Leon Wright will speak with students about best practices for making an Election Day voting plan and the importance of civic engagement.
- Tuesday, Oct. 27: The City of Detroit's Department of Elections will host a virtual voting walkthrough and speak to students about polling location safety protocols and how to dismantle election-related misinformation.
For questions, visit michigan.gov/vote. If you encounter a problem while voting, please call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE. Learn more about Warriors Vote initiatives, including Motivote, at studentsenate.wayne.edu/warriorsvote.