Mover's Guide: Michigan

August 10, 2010

Secretary of State Elections:  888-SOS-MICH

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to Michigan from another state, you must register to vote in Michigan to be able to vote.[1]  The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is thirty days before the election.[2]

If you moved from out of state, you are only eligible to register if you have been a resident of Michigan and your township, city, or village for at least thirty days prior to the election in which you want to vote.[3]  But under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[4]

I moved within Michigan.

If you moved within the same township, city or village, you can send the clerk a signed request, or apply in person to update your address.[5]  If you moved to a different township or city within Michigan, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[6]  That form is available here:http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MIVoterRegistration_97046_7.pdf

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

Many registered Michigan voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about the move before Election Day.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Polling Place

If you moved to a new address that is covered by the same polling place as your old address, you can vote a regular ballot at that polling place after confirming your change of address.  This is true regardless of how close to the election you moved.[7]

Scenario Two: New Address in Same City or Township but New Polling Place

If you moved to a new address within the same city or township but with a different polling place, you can vote at the polling place associated with your old address after filling out a written transfer of registration request which lists your new address.[8]

Scenario Three: New Address in New City, Township, or New County

If you moved within 60 days of an election to a new address in a different city , township, or county, you can vote at the polling place associated with your old address after confirming in writing that you have moved.[9]


[1] See Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 168.491 (West 2010).

[2] Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 168.497(1).

[3] Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 168.492.

[4] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[5] Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 168.506 (West 2010).

[6] Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 168.507b; see also Michigan Department of State, Michigan Votes: Registering and Voting in Michigan (2008), available at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ED-130__97383_7.pdf.

[7] 42 U.S.C § 1973gg-6(e)(1) (2010).

[8] Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 168.507(1) (West 2010).

[9] Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 168.507a(2).