Ins and outs of voting

By Katie Jacob

Copy Editor                                                   

This year everyone is predicting a huge turnout by young voters. Oakland University students should be no exception. If you have questions about the upcoming election, check out the information listed below:

• Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

• The polls will be open in Oakland County from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

• You must register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election. If you are not already

registered, you will not be able to vote in this election.

• To see if you are registered, go to the secretary of state’s Michigan Voter Information Center at You can search by name and date of birth or with your driver’s license number. If you registered at a campus voter registration drive or by mail, make sure you are actually registered before going to the polls on Election Day.

• Remember to bring an acceptable form of photo identification with you to the polls such as a driver’s license, a state-issued ID, or a student identification with photo. Your photo ID does not need to have your address on it.  If you don’t have a photo ID you can still cast a ballot by signing an affidavit and your vote will be counted with all other ballots on Election Day.

• If you are a first-time voter in Michigan and have registered to vote by mail, you must vote in person.  If you need to vote absentee, you will have to go to your local secretary of state branch office, or to your city clerk, and verify your identification — with a driver’s license or other state issued picture ID.  The flag on the voter rolls that says you have to vote in person will be removed and then you can request an absentee ballot.

• You can download a request for an absentee ballot online at the Voter Information Center website or obtain a pre-printed request at your city ot county clerks office. Requests to have an absentee ballot mailed to you must be received by the clerk no later than 2 p.m. this Saturday. You have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to complete the ballot and return it to the clerk’s office. Don’t forget to place your signature on the outside of the envelope and make sure to use enough postage if you are mailing it in — two stamps should do.

• You must vote at the correct precinct. You can find your precinct location and clerk contact information at the Voter Information Center website. You can also view a sample ballot and find information on the candidates and the ballot proposals.

• According to a New York Times investigation, thousands of names may have been purged from the voter rolls in Michigan. If your name is not listed at the poll, an election inspector will contact the city clerk. They will check to make sure you are not

registered in a different precinct and will ask you to sign an affidavit and fill out a new voter registration form. You may be allowed to cast a ballot, or you may be offered a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are less likely to be counted.  If you vote by provisional ballot, you will have six days to go to the clerk and verify your voter information so that your vote can be counted.

• To avoid long lines vote early.

• If you encounter problems voting you can call Ruth Johnson, Oakland County Clerk at (248) 858-0581 or The Election Protection Coalition at 1-866-OUR-VOTE, or report voting problems at

• If you wish to work as a paid election inspector on Election Day you can submit an application to your city clerk.