Absentee Voting Update (including six new ballot drop boxes)

Oct 10, 2020 | City News

The following was released by the City on Oct 10, 2020

For complete Election Day information, visit www.a2gov.org/elections

The Ann Arbor City Clerk’s Office has issued more than 45,000 absentee ballots so far for the upcoming Presidential Election, and requests continue to come in daily leading up to Nov. 3 Election Day. The city is preparing for a high volume of ballot returns with the introduction of additional options and conveniences. 

The city clerk’s office is also prepared to conduct a secure election. “While we are dedicated to make voting accessible to all,” said Ann Arbor City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry, “we also are diligent to ensure the election processes are strictly followed for a secure, efficient and valid outcome.” City, township and county clerks’ office procedures are in accordance with the Michigan Secretary of State guidelines and Michigan election law. “Voters can be assured that all ballots received by 8 p.m. on Election Day are counted in the election night tallies, and that Michigan’s no-reason absentee ballot system is safe and secure.”

New conveniences — Ballot drop boxes

In addition to the standard, locked drop boxes inside Larcom City Hall, there are now six new City of Ann Arbor ballot drop boxes installed, securely, throughout the city. All ballot boxes are installed on city property (except for one at U-M), are bolted to the ground and are designed to prevent theft and tampering.

Any Ann Arbor resident voting absentee can return their ballot in one of the secure drop boxes. Following is a list of all drop box locations (new locations marked with *)

  • Larcom City Hall, 301 E. Huron St., always open — Located inside the building, at the north entrance.
  • *Larcom City Hall, on Ann Street — Located outside the building by the customer service drop box, on the north side of Ann Street, just east of Fifth Avenue.
  • *Veterans Memorial Park Ice Arena and Pool, 2150 Jackson Ave — Parking lot.
  • *Ann Arbor Fire Station 5, 1946 Beal Ave — Outside.
  • *Cobblestone Farm/Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Customer Service Center, 2781 Packard Road — Outside.
  • *Ann Arbor Fire Station 6, 1881 Briarwood Circle — Northwest side of building, Eisenhower entrance, outside.
  • *New satellite Ann Arbor City Clerk’s Office: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., 10 AM–7 PM only — Located inside in the Stenn Gallery on the first floor. Please note, entrance is permitted only following clearance from COVID-19 health screening, which will be conducted by personnel onsite. For more information on this satellite office, visit https://www.a2gov.org/news/pages/article.aspx?i=734

All ballot drop box locations are marked on this map (which is also copied at the bottom of this post)


Directional signage at some outdoor locations will provide guidance to the boxes:

New conveniences — Additional hours at city clerk’s office and satellite office

Ann Arbor voters can visit the primary Ann Arbor City Clerk’s Office at Larcom City Hall, 301 E. Huron St., to register to vote and to request and return absentee ballots. The city hall office will have special hours, in addition to its 8 AM–5 PM Monday–Friday regular hours, leading up to the Presidential Election:

  • Wednesdays in October: 8 AM–7 PM
  • Saturdays, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31: 8 AM–4 PM
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3: 7 AM–8 PM

The satellite city clerk’s office, U-M Museum of Art Stenn Gallery, 525 S. State St., will also be open to register to vote and to request and return absentee ballots with the following hours until Tuesday, Nov. 3:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 22–Friday, Oct. 23: 10 AM–7 PM Monday through Friday.
  • Saturday, Oct. 24–Saturday, Oct. 31: 10 AM–7 PM Monday through Friday, 8 AM–4 PM Saturdays.
  • Monday, Nov. 2: 8 AM–4 PM
  • Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 3: 8 AM–8 PM

New conveniences — Postage-paid return envelopes

Thanks to support from the Michigan Secretary of State and federal CARES Act funding, Ann Arbor absentee ballots being returned by mail for this election do not require stamps; ballot return envelopes are now postage paid. There’s no need for stamps and postage guess work.

For those who choose to mail their ballots, please note, the United States Postal Service recommends ballots to be returned by mail at least seven days before Election Day. 

Tips and reminders for voting, absentee and in person

Voting, in general:

  • Check your voter registration, absentee ballot status and view sample ballots at https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,8611,7-127-1640_14837-49313–,00.html
  • The last day to register to vote by mail, or with any designated voter registration agency (e.g., county clerk, Secretary of State branch office, etc.), in the Nov. 3 election is Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. After this date, voters can still register in person at the city clerk’s office or satellite clerk’s office — with proof of residency — until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Voters registering to vote within 14 days of an election will be required to provide proof of residency.
  • Have a question about voting or voting absentee? See the Michigan Secretary of State elections and voting FAQs: https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-5647_12539_29836—,00.html

Absentee voting:

Request an absentee ballot! If you wish to vote absentee and do not yet have an absentee ballot, you must turn in an absentee ballot application in order to receive one. The application is available at the city clerk’s office or online at www.a2gov.org/elections to print, fill out and return by mail or in person at the city clerk’s office or satellite office. Do not put ballot applications in the drop boxes.

There are several options to obtain an absentee ballot:

  • Apply online at https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,8611,7-127-1640_14837-49313–,00.html
  • Call to request an application be sent by mail: 734.794.6140.
  • Apply in person at the city clerk’s office or satellite office. Ballots issued in person are only given to the voter. Spouses and family members may return applications, but may not pick up the unvoted ballots for each other.
  • Fill out, print, sign and return the online application form, https://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/AVApp_535884_7.pdf, to the city clerk via email cityclerk@a2gov.org,  U.S. mail or fax. An official form, however, is not required. Any written request for an absentee ballot, signed by the voter, will be accepted. Voters requesting and picking up absentee ballots in person at the city clerk’s office will be subject to the Michigan voter identification requirement.

Sign it! Be sure to sign the outside of the green ballot envelope, or your vote will not count.

Use the green envelope! The absentee ballot return envelope has new look, with a white and green design. Ballots must be placed in the green return envelope (with your signature) to be valid.

Return it! Drop it off in a secure City of Ann Arbor ballot box (https://www.a2gov.org/departments/city-clerk/Elections/Documents/offical_ballot_drop_box_map%202020.pdf – also copied below at the bottom of this post), or mail it at least seven days before Election Day.

  • Per a recent court ruling, mailed ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 2, to be counted for the Nov. 3 election. Ballots with a Nov. 2 post mark received after Election Day will continue to be counted for as many as 14 days following the election.

Did you receive an application at your home for someone who no longer lives at your address? If so, please mark the envelope as “not at this address” or “return to sender” and place it back in the mail. This assists the city clerk’s office in the process of updating the voter list. You may also email cityclerk@a2gov.org with any information you have, such as the voter’s new address or updated information, so the city clerk can better respond. Once information is received that a voter may no longer reside at the address listed on their voter record, a multi-step voter notification process begins before the voter registration can be legally cancelled. Confirmation from the voter directly will speed up this process of cancellation; otherwise it may take up to two even-year election cycles to remove the voter. This process is in place to ensure that no voter is removed from the voter file in error.

Have you already voted absentee and now want to change your vote (for any reason)? Voters can spoil their ballot by submitting a written request to their city or township clerk. The voter must sign the request and state whether they would like a new absentee ballot mailed to them or if they will vote at the polls. This request must be received by 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election if received by mail. An absentee ballot may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 4 p.m. the Monday prior to the election. The voter can obtain a new absentee ballot there or vote at the polls. There is no option on Election Day to spoil an absentee ballot that has been received by the clerk.

For complete Election Day information, visit www.a2gov.org/elections

Ann Arbor absentee ballot dropoff box map Oct 2020