Voting in the 2020 Election: What You Need to Know

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The election is right around the corner and, while in years past voting probably wasn’t at the forefront of your mind this early on, this year it should be. As you’ve probably heard by now, we’re dealing with unprecedented times. So, this year it’s important to be informed and prepared. We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know. 

The Facts

In the 2016 election, President Trump won 46.1% of the vote, Hilary Clinton won 48.2% of the vote, while third parties took 5.7% of the vote. This is based only on those people who voted. When we look at the population as a whole, President Trump took 26.6% of the vote, Hilary Clinton 27.8%, third parties 3.3%, while 42.3% of the population of eligible voters DID NOT VOTE. (census.gov) You read that right, almost half of the population didn’t vote. As a former Social Studies teacher, I was astounded by these numbers. While I know many Americans don’t exercise their right to vote, I couldn’t believe how large the amount was…so this year in 2020, let’s work together to change that.

Register To Vote

If you’re not already registered to vote, this is a great place to start. Already registered? Skip to the next step! Registering to vote in the state of Michigan can be done online. Read on to find out what you’ll need before starting the process. Then you can head here to register to vote in Michigan.

What You’ll Need for Registration

  • A Valid Drivers License (It cannot have been changed in the last 10 days.)
  • Drivers License or State ID Number
  • Social Security Number
  • Address

Check if You’re Registered to Vote

You think you’re registered but you want to make sure? Checking is easy! Just head here. All you will need to do is put in your name, birth month and year, and zip code. The system will populate if you are registered or not. If it turns out you’re not registered, head to the step above! 

Voting Absentee

There is a lot of information circulating this year about voting absentee. At this time, it seems that people are unsure how polls will be able to safely operate in November. Polls being open may mean long lines and waiting outside. If you feel like you’d be more comfortable voting from your home you have the option to do so. EVERYONE IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE BY MAIL! There are several ways to register to do this. If you received an application in the mail you can send it back once filled out. Didn’t receive an application via mail? You can apply online or download the application and then mail it. If you are looking for how to do this head here.

Things You Need to Know

  • In Michigan, you do not need any reason to vote by mail, unlike many other states.
  • Michigan’s deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is October 30 at 5:00 p.m., however the USPS has advised that ballots should be requested fifteen days prior or it may not be received in time. (Information obtained via Business Insider.)
  • If you wish to change your vote, you can spoil your ballot by sending in a request to your city or township clerk. You must do this by mail, by 2:00 p.m. the Saturday before election or in person by 4:00 p.m. the Monday before election.

Now that you know the facts, your next step is action. Make sure you’re registered, and if you’re not, get registered! Then, share with your friends on how they can register too.

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