Absentee Voting

Absentee voter (AV) ballots are available to registered voters for all elections. They provide a convenient method for casting a ballot when a voter is unable to attend the polls on Election Day.

AV Ballot Application

Who is Eligible for an AV Ballot?

Due to the passage of the statewide ballot proposal 18-3 in November 2018, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absentee voter ballot without providing a reason. Check your voter registration at Michigan.gov/Vote.

Requesting an Absentee Voter Ballot

Voter requests for an AV ballot must be in writing and can be submitted to the city or township clerk. (For assistance in obtaining the address of a voter's city or township clerk, see Michigan.gov/Vote.) Voters must request an AV ballot by mailing the application, a letter, a postcard or a pre-printed application form obtained from your local clerk's office. Requests to have an AV ballot mailed to a voter must be received by their clerk no later than 5 p.m. the Friday before the election. The deadline to request an AV ballot in person at the City Clerk's office is the Monday prior to the election at 4 p.m. 

Once a voter's request is received by the local clerk, the voter's signature on the request will be checked against their voter registration record before a ballot is issued. Individuals must be a registered voter to receive an AV ballot. Requests for AV ballots are processed immediately. AV ballots may be issued to a voter at their home address or any address outside of their city or township of residence.

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

Automatic Application List

The East Lansing City Clerk's Office maintains an automatic application list for registered East Lansing voters who would like to automatically receive an AV ballot application before each election scheduled in East Lansing.

Additionally, with the passage of the statewide ballot proposal 18-3 in November 2018, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an AV ballot without providing a reason.

Registered East Lansing voters who would like to be placed on the East Lansing City Clerk's Automatic Application List can submit the Automatic Application Online Form or contact the East Lansing City Clerk by calling (517) 319-6914 or sending an email to jshuster@cityofeastlansing.com.

Attention: Military and overseas voters should visit www.fvap.gov to fill out a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA.) The application may be mailed or emailed directly to the City Clerk's Office, and is valid for all elections during a calendar year. A new application must be filled out and submitted annually if the voter is still serving in the military or is living or visiting outside of the country.