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MICHIGAN ELECTION LAW (EXCERPT)
Act 116 of 1954

168.761 Absent voter ballots; mailing or delivering to applicant; rejection of application; order of issuance; numbering; return envelope; form; statement; false statement as misdemeanor or felony; presenting of identification for election purposes; affidavit; challenged ballot.

Sec. 761.

  (1) If the clerk of a city or township receives an application for an absent voter ballot from a person registered to vote in that city or township and if the signature on the application agrees with the signature for the person contained in the qualified voter file or on the registration card as required in subsection (2), the clerk immediately upon receipt of the application or, if the application is received before the printing of the absent voter ballots, as soon as the ballots are received by the clerk, shall forward by mail, postage prepaid, or shall deliver personally 1 of the ballots or set of ballots if there is more than 1 kind of ballot to be voted to the applicant. If the clerk of a city or township receives an application for an absent voter ballot from an applicant who is a program participant, as that term is defined in the address confidentiality program act, then the city or township clerk shall mail an absent voter ballot to that program participant at the designated address provided to that program participant by the department of the attorney general under the address confidentiality program act. Subject to the identification requirement in subsection (6), absent voter ballots may be delivered to an applicant in person at the office of the clerk.

  (2) The qualified voter file must be used to determine the genuineness of a signature on an application for an absent voter ballot. Signature comparisons must be made with the digitized signature in the qualified voter file. If the qualified voter file does not contain a digitized signature of an elector, or is not accessible to the clerk, the city or township clerk shall compare the signature appearing on the application for an absent voter ballot to the signature contained on the master card. If before 8 p.m. on the day before election day the clerk of a city or township rejects an absent voter ballot application because the signature on the absent voter ballot application does not agree sufficiently with the signature on the master card or the digitized signature contained in the qualified voter file so as to identify the elector or because the elector failed to sign the absent voter ballot application, the city or township clerk shall as soon as practicable, but in no event later than 48 hours after determining the signatures do not agree sufficiently or that the signature is missing, or by 8 p.m. on the day before election day, whichever occurs first, notify the elector of the rejection by mail, telephone, or electronic mail.

  (3) Subject to the identification requirement in subsection (6) and except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a person may apply in person at the clerk’s office before 8 p.m. on election day to vote as an absent voter. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), only an individual who is not a registered elector, or an individual who is not registered to vote in the city or township in which he or she is registering to vote, and who registers to vote on election day in person with the clerk of the city or township in which the individual resides may apply for and complete an absent voter ballot in person at the clerk’s office on election day. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), the clerk of a city or township shall not issue an absent voter ballot to a registered elector in that city or township after 4 p.m. on the day before the election. The applicant shall receive his or her absent voter ballot and vote the ballot in the clerk’s office. All other absent voter ballots, except ballots delivered pursuant to an emergency absent voter ballot application under section 759b, must be mailed or delivered to the registration address of the applicant unless the application requests delivery to an address outside the city or township or to a hospital or similar institution, in which case the absent voter ballots must be mailed or delivered to the address given in the application. However, a clerk may mail or deliver an absent voter ballot, upon request of the absent voter, to a post office box if the post office box is where the absent voter normally receives personal mail and the absent voter does not receive mail at his or her registration address.

  (4) Absent voter ballots must be issued in the same order in which applications are received by the clerk of a city, township, or village, as nearly as may be, and each ballot issued must bear the lowest number of each kind available for this purpose. However, this provision does not prohibit a clerk from immediately issuing an absent voter ballot to an absent voter who applies in person in the clerk’s office for absent voter ballots. The clerk shall enclose with the ballot or ballots a return envelope properly addressed to the clerk and bearing upon the back of the envelope a printed statement in substantially the following form:

TO BE COMPLETED
BY THE CLERK
_________________________ ___________________________
Name of Voter Street Address or R.R. or Program Participant Identification Number
_________________________ _______________________
City or Township County
    Ward ______ Precinct ______ Date of Election ______
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TO BE COMPLETED BY THE ABSENT VOTER

I assert that I am a United States citizen and a qualified and registered elector of the city or township named above. I am voting as an absent voter in conformity with state election law. Unless otherwise indicated below, I personally marked the ballot enclosed in this envelope without exhibiting it to any other person.

  I further assert that this absent voter ballot is being returned to the clerk or an assistant of the clerk by me personally; by public postal service, express mail service, parcel post service, or other common carrier; by a member of my immediate family; or by a person residing in my household.

DATE: ______________ SIGN HERE: X_____________________
Signature of Absent Voter
The above form must be signed or your vote may not be counted. AN ABSENT VOTER WHO KNOWINGLY MAKES A FALSE STATEMENT IS GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR.
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TO BE COMPLETED ONLY IF VOTER IS ASSISTED IN VOTING
BY ANOTHER PERSON

I assisted the above named absent voter who is disabled or otherwise unable to mark the ballot in marking his or her absent voter ballot pursuant to his or her directions. The absent voter ballot was inserted in the return envelope without being exhibited to any other person.

____________________ ______________ _______________
Signature of Person Street Address City or Township
Assisting Voter or R.R.
____________________________________________________________
Printed Name of Person Assisting Voter
A PERSON WHO ASSISTS AN ABSENT VOTER AND WHO KNOWINGLY MAKES A FALSE STATEMENT IS GUILTY OF A FELONY.
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WARNING

PERSONS WHO CAN LEGALLY BE IN POSSESSION OF AN ABSENT VOTER BALLOT ISSUED TO AN ABSENT VOTER ARE LIMITED TO THE ABSENT VOTER; A PERSON WHO IS A MEMBER OF THE ABSENT VOTER’S IMMEDIATE FAMILY OR RESIDES IN THE ABSENT VOTER’S HOUSEHOLD AND WHO HAS BEEN ASKED BY THE ABSENT VOTER TO RETURN THE BALLOT; A PERSON WHOSE JOB IT IS TO HANDLE MAIL BEFORE, DURING, OR AFTER BEING TRANSPORTED BY A PUBLIC POSTAL SERVICE, EXPRESS MAIL SERVICE, PARCEL POST SERVICE, OR COMMON CARRIER, BUT ONLY DURING THE NORMAL COURSE OF HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT; AND THE CLERK, ASSISTANTS OF THE CLERK, AND OTHER AUTHORIZED ELECTION OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OR TOWNSHIP. ANY OTHER PERSON IN POSSESSION OF AN ABSENT VOTER BALLOT IS GUILTY OF A FELONY.

  (5) An absent voter who knowingly makes a false statement on the absent voter ballot return envelope is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who assists an absent voter and who knowingly makes a false statement on the absent voter ballot return envelope is guilty of a felony.

  (6) If an elector obtains his or her absent voter ballot in person from the clerk of the city or township in which he or she is registered, the clerk of the city or township shall not provide an absent voter ballot to that elector until the elector identifies himself or herself to the clerk by presenting identification for election purposes. If an elector does not have identification for election purposes, the elector may sign an affidavit to that effect before the clerk of the city or township and be allowed to obtain his or her absent voter ballot in person from the clerk. The clerk of the city or township shall indicate to each elector who is registered in that city or township and who obtains his or her absent voter ballot in person from the clerk that the elector may sign an affidavit indicating that the elector does not have identification for election purposes in order to obtain his or her absent voter ballot in person from the clerk. However, if an elector obtains his or her absent voter ballot in person from the clerk and votes by absent voter ballot without providing identification for election purposes required under this subsection, the absent voter ballot of that elector must be prepared as a challenged ballot as provided in section 727 and must be counted as any other ballot is counted unless determined otherwise by a court of law under section 747 or 748 or any other applicable law.

  

  

History: 1954, Act 116, Eff. June 1, 1955 ;– Am. 1955, Act 271, Imd. Eff. June 30, 1955 ;– Am. 1958, Act 192, Eff. Sept. 13, 1958 ;– Am. 1965, Act 152, Imd. Eff. July 12, 1965 ;– Am. 1966, Act 264, Imd. Eff. July 12, 1966 ;– Am. 1980, Act 140, Imd. Eff. May 29, 1980 ;– Am. 1995, Act 261, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 ;– Am. 1996, Act 207, Imd. Eff. May 21, 1996 ;– Am. 2005, Act 71, Imd. Eff. July 14, 2005 ;– Am. 2012, Act 523, Eff. Mar. 28, 2013 ;– Am. 2018, Act 129, Imd. Eff. May 3, 2018 ;– Am. 2018, Act 603, Imd. Eff. Dec. 28, 2018 ;– Am. 2020, Act 177, Imd. Eff. Oct. 6, 2020 ;– Am. 2020, Act 302, Eff. June 27, 2021
Compiler’s Notes: Enacting section 4 of Act 71 of 2005 provides:”Enacting section 4. If any portion of this amendatory act or the application of this amendatory act to any person or circumstances is found invalid by a court, the invalidity shall not affect the remaining portions or applications of this amendatory act that can be given effect without the invalid portion or application, if the remaining portions are not determined by the court to be inoperable, and to this end this amendatory act is declared to be severable.”
Popular Name: Election Code



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