Guide to Registering and Voting
Am I eligible to vote in Michigan?
If you are a GVSU student, you must claim residency in either Michigan (including in Allendale or Georgetown Township) or your home district.
To register in Michigan, you must:
- be a resident of Michigan and the city or township where you are applying to register to vote for at least 30 days before election day
- be a citizen of the United States
- be 18 years old (by election day)
If you have a Michigan Driver's License or possess your Social Security number, you can stop by the Community Service Learning Center in 1108 Kirkhof Center to register.
What address do I use to register?
A residential address must be provided. If you do not have a residential address, please provide cross streets or a landmark in the address field describing your location.
So, if you are living on campus in a residence hall and want to register at GVSU, then you need to put your residence hall's address on your voter registration form.
If you live off-campus, use that mailing address.
Many GVSU students prefer to register in their home districts and vote absentee. If you want to vote absentee, you will register at that address (e.g., in Flint, MI or Chicago, IL). You should request an absentee ballot be sent to your Allendale or Georgetown Township address.
Registering to vote does not affect your:
Federal Financial Aid
- Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA
Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes
- Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes
- Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community
If you do not receive a voter ID card within three weeks or have any questions, contact your clerk. Click here to find out more information about your county clerk.
How can I see if I'm already registered?
Look yourself up! If you are a Michigan resident, you can check at the MI Secretary of State here.
Can I vote by absentee ballot?
In Michigan, the township clerk must receive an absentee ballot request by email or mail no later than 5:00pm the Friday before the election. However, absentee ballots should be requested as far in advance as possible to allow time for the local elections office to mail the ballot to the voter and for the voter to complete and return the ballot. Completed absentee ballots must be returned to the correct township clerk's office before the close of the polls on Election Day.
If you are a Michigan resident, you can apply for an absentee ballot online through the MI Secretary of State. If you are an out-of-state student, be sure to check your state's deadlines and rules.
Due to the passage of a statewide ballot proposal in November 2018, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.
What Should I Bring to Vote?
Election workers will ask you for a photo ID, but if you do not have one, you will sign an affidavit that you do not have ID and vote a ballot that will be counted on Election Day. Bring your photo ID if you have it because it will make the process faster. Acceptable IDs include:
- a driver’s license or identification card issued by Michigan or another state
- a U.S. passport
- a photo ID issued by a federal or state government
- a military ID with photo
- a high school or college photo ID
- a tribal ID with photo
Dos and Don'ts at the Michigan Ballot Box