If the early numbers are any indication, the Nov. 3 Election Day will be one for the record books. Novi has upwards of 45,000 registered voters and of that number over 17,000 have requested absentee ballots. We are encouraging all voters who are voting absentee to get their ballots in early to make sure they get counted. If you have not yet applied to vote absentee, do so sooner than later. If you have any questions about the election process or voting, visit
1. MAKE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE
To register to vote in Michigan you must be a Michigan resident and a resident of the City of Novi for at least 30 days when you vote, a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age and not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison. You may only register to vote in one place. If you have a Michigan driver’s license or state ID card, you can register to vote online at Michigan.gov/vote.
You can register any time up through Election Day by coming
to the City Clerk’s Office. Proof of residency will be required for voters registering after Oct. 19.
2. APPLY TO RECEIVE AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
All eligible and registered voters in Michigan may request an absentee ballot without providing a reason. Your request for an absentee ballot must be in writing and submitted to the City Clerk. You can submit an application
electronically at Michigan.gov/vote
or submit a form in person, via mail, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your signature must appear on the application or you will not receive an absent voter ballot. Requests to have your absentee ballot mailed to you must be received by the City Clerk no later than 5pm on Oct. 30, but it is highly recommended to not wait until the last minute. In fact, the Postal Service has recommended that voters request their ballots at least 15 days before Election Day.
3. ABSENTEE VOTING AND MAIL-IN VOTING ARE THE SAME
The two terms are often used interchangeably and Michigan has historically used “absentee ballot” to describe a ballot that is sent to a voter outside of a polling place. Michigan law now allows for “no excuse absentee voting,” meaning any voter can request an absentee ballot. Even though the ballots are mailed to voters, they
can choose to return them in person to the City Clerk’s office or the secure drop-box outside the Civic Center.
4. WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU GET YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT
The first mass mailing of Absentee Ballots took place in late September. After receiving your absentee ballot, you have until 8pm on Election Day to complete the ballot and return it to the City Clerk’s office. Your ballot will not be counted unless your signature is on the return envelope and matches your signature on file. Do not wait to return your absentee ballot as you may lose it or forget you received it. Drop the completed and signed ballot into the drop box outside, inside the Civic Center or bring it to the City Clerk’s office.
5. I RECEIVED AN ABSENTEE BALLOT BUT NOW I WANT TO VOTE IN PERSON
If you request an Absentee Ballot but then decide you want to vote in person you can do so as long as the absentee ballot was not returned to the City Clerk’s Office. If a voter requested an Absentee Ballot and shows up at the polls to vote they will be told a ballot has already been issued for them. That ballot can be spoiled but is a hassle for the voter as it requires the poll worker to call the City Clerk’s office to complete that process. If you request an Absentee Ballot, we encourage you to vote the Absentee Ballot.
6. YOU CAN KEEP TABS ON YOUR BALLOT
Once the ballot is in the mail, in a drop box or at a clerk’s office, you can track its progress at michigan.gov/vote. After you enter your personal information, the site will show you whether your clerk has received your ballot.
7. FOUR LOCATIONS ON CIVIC CENTER CAMPUS TO DROP OFF YOUR APPLICATION OR BALLOT
You do not have to hand your Absentee Application or Ballot to a person. There are four locations on the Civic Center Campus where you can take it, one that doesn’t even require you to leave your vehicle. The drive-up box is grey and located near the Novi Police Department, another box will greet you outside the Civic Center doors, a blue bin will await you once you walk inside and, finally, you can walk up the stairs and place it in a bin at the City Clerk’s office. Don’t worry, your ballots are safe as clerks are required to keep them in a private, secure area; state law bars opening any ballot until Election Day.
8. ELECTION WORKERS
Workers are needed for the November election. Qualifications are that you must be a registered voter or 16-17-year-old student. A paid training session is required and Election Day hours are typically 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Election inspectors are paid $190 for the day, precinct co-chairs $215 and precinct chairs $240. Apply online at cityofnovi.org/elections or call 248.347.0456.
9. YOU CAN VOTE IN PERSON, JUST CHECK YOUR PRECINCT
As of today, the polls will be open for in-person voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Voting booths will be spaced out and disinfected throughout the day. We are encouraging voters to please wear a mask, bring their own black or blue ball point pen, have your ID with you, if you have one, and make sure you are voting in the right precinct by checking it at Michigan.gov/vote.
10. CITY CLERK’S OFFICE IS HERE TO HELP
The Novi City Clerk’s team is small but mighty, and at the ready to help answer any questions you may have. You can always give them a call at 248.347.0456 or email email@example.com.
The city’s website cityofnovi.org/elections
is also extremely useful.