Tuesday, July 14, 2020

How students can vote in Michigan's gubernatorial election this November

August 28, 2018
The Primary Election voting location for precinct 4 at Murphy Elementary School on August 7, 2018.
The Primary Election voting location for precinct 4 at Murphy Elementary School on August 7, 2018. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Multiple candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, Michigan’s Supreme Court and the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, among others, are on the ballot for Michigan’s Nov. 6 gubernatorial election. 

The gubernatorial race is part of a string of midterm elections across the U.S. Voters in Michigan will decide who’ll be the state’s next governor, as current Gov. Rick Snyder has reached his two-term limit. But voters in Michigan will also have the chance to shape who represents them at a federal level in Congress.

New and current students at MSU over the age of 18 can participate in the gubernatorial election. Students who are unfamiliar with the voter registration process can follow this breakdown to ensure that they can cast their ballot on Nov. 6.

Requirements to register

There's several stipulations to be met before a person can register to vote. For instance, students must be

  • a U.S. citizen
  • at least 18 years old by the day of the election
  • a Michigan resident
  • a resident of the town or city you’re applying to vote in. 

Keep in mind that students have to be registered several weeks before an election takes place. For the 2018 gubernatorial, students should register by Oct. 9 to vote in Michigan. Applications to register can be obtained via the Secretary of State’s office or a county or city clerk’s office. 

Voting in East Lansing

College students who can’t travel home for the election can instead register to vote on MSU’s campus or in the city of East Lansing, depending on where they live. 

For instance, several precincts in Ingham County include portions of MSU. Polling locations can be found at IM Sports East, Brody Square and the MSU Union for students who want to cast their votes while on campus. 

Students can register to vote directly on campus, but those who have already registered to vote in a different location can indicate a change of address before the election. For instance, if a student's permanent address was located in Detroit, indicating a change of address to East Lansing would mean that students can vote in a new location on campus on Election Day instead of being required to vote in their voter precinct in Detroit. 

Absentee voting

Students can also choose to register or remain registered in their hometown or city. Traveling home to vote would work, but if students can't travel home, they can request an absentee ballot from their hometown or city. Voting absentee allows students to fill out their ballot while they're away from home. 

Applications for absentee ballots have to be filled out and mailed to a student's local election office by 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3. Local election offices will accept hand-delivered or mailed applications, but students cutting it close to the deadline should call their election office to see if their application can be faxed or emailed. 

Once students receive their actual absentee ballot, they should follow the instructions to sign, date and fill it out with their candidate preferences. The voted ballot should be mailed back to a student's local election office. Filled-out absentee ballots must be turned in by the close of polls on Election Day or they will not be counted. 


Share and discuss “How students can vote in Michigan's gubernatorial election this November” on social media.