VRM in the States: Michigan

February 1, 2017

Advances in Voter Registration Modernization

  • Electronic Voter Registration: Michigan launched electronic voter registration at Secretary of State branch offices – which serve as the state’s driver’s licensing offices – in 1998, and fully eliminated the use of paper for address updates in 2014. New voter registrations still require a paper form with the voter’s responses and signature to be physically mailed to election officials. Address updates, however, are transferred electronically from Secretary of State branch offices to election officials. Michigan has also implemented an online change of address service. When registered voters change their driver’s license address online, the system automatically updates their address for voter registration purposes.
  • Electronic Pollbooks: Michigan employs electronic pollbooks statewide.

Gains from Voter Registration Modernization in Michigan

The steps Michigan has taken thus far have yielded increases in voter registration and financial benefits for the state. For example:  

  • During an April 2013 interview with Brennan Center staff, Michigan election officials reported that electronic registration has helped keep the state’s voter registration rate above 95% and ensure that registrant’s addresses remain up to date.
  • The online address update system has also saved staff time, since individuals do not need to go into a branch to change their address.