Absent Voter Ballots

NEW! Mailing Changes for 2020

The State of Michigan recently re-designed the absent voter ballot envelopes. The previous design was encountering increased issues with the United States Postal Service (USPS). In order to prevent those issues and prevent the disenfranchisement of voters, a new format has been implemented.  This change is effective statewide.

The new design should help voters and improve efficiency, including:

  • Voter’s signature line on the back of the envelope - the side visible when sealing the envelope. This should decrease unsigned ballots.
  • Different coloring for outgoing and return envelopes. This allows the Post Office to know that blue goes to a voter, green to the clerk. (Other states are adopting the same color scheme, which will also help with ballots being sent outside of Michigan.)
  • A smaller size envelope. USPS requested this because the former large size was the maximum allowed for first-class mail. This previously caused postmarking and handling confusion.
  • Clear, more concise directions.

The new design will be rolled out in March 2020 beginning with the Presidential Primary.New AV Envelopes

Eligibility Requirements

All registered voters are eligible to vote via absentee ballot.  Ballots may be obtained via postal mail until 5 p.m. the Friday before an election. Ballots may also be requested in person directly at the Office of the City Clerk up until 4 p.m. the Monday before an election - however, any ballots requested the day before the election must be voted immediately at City Hall.  

Request a Ballot

To request an absent voter ballot for any election, please contact the Office of the City Clerk at 269-329-4511 or send an email requesting an absent voter application to the Office of the City Clerk. 

A ballot can only be provided to the actual voter.  A voter may not pick up a ballot for anyone other than himself or herself.  Be advised that Power of Attorney does not apply in this instance.

Completed absentee ballot applications can be mailed or dropped off to the Office of the City Clerk at:

7900 S Westnedge Avenue
Portage, MI 49002

Instructions & Recommendations

You may also download an absent voter application (see link at right). A completed application or written request accompanied by an original signature is necessary before a ballot can be issued. Absentee ballots may also be picked up at the Office of the City Clerk. 

Note: Ballots cannot be given out to anyone other than the voter. Prior to returning the ballot, make sure that you have signed the outside envelope; and, if mailing the ballot, place at least $0.60 postage on the envelope.