If a Voter is not on the permanent ballot list, Voters must submit an application for an absent voter ballot before a ballot can be sent by your City or Township Clerk. Applications are available from your City or Township Clerk or online.

Voters can decide to be placed on a permanent ballot list. The City or Township Clerk will then mail an absent voter ballot for all future elections.

  • Voters applying for an absent voter ballot at the Clerk’s Office will be required to show a photo ID for election purposes or sign an affidavit of identity.
  • Absent voter ballots must be sent to your registered address unless you are hospitalized, institutionalized, or at an address outside of your community.
  • The deadline to receive an absent voter ballot by mail is 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election.
  • The deadline for applying to vote an absent voter ballot in person at your local Clerk’s Office is 4 p.m. on the Monday before the election.

Absentee Ballot FAQs

Why do I have to apply for an absentee ballot?

Absentee ballot applications are used to ensure the identity of the voter requesting a ballot by mail. The application collects personal information and requires a signature that is verified using voter registration data in the Qualified Voter File. Voters can elect to join the Permanent Ballot List and automatically receive an official ballot for all future elections.

Why did I receive multiple absentee ballot applications?

You may have received multiple absentee ballot applications in the mail. Political parties, interest groups, candidates and even individuals are allowed to print and distribute absentee ballot applications. The groups that send out these applications are using outdated information and they do not know if you have already received or submitted an application. Even though you may receive multiple applications, you will only receive one ballot.

If you receive mail, email or text messages that you believe to be fraudulent or in error, please report those to our Office at countyclerk@livgov.com or (517) 546-8177.

What if you receive an absentee ballot application for someone who no longer lives at your address?

Our qualified voter list is constantly changing. Despite our best efforts, residents don’t always tell us when they move and death notices may lag, causing inaccuracies to occasionally develop. If you receive an application for someone who no longer lives at your address, please mark the envelope as “Not at this Address” or “Return to Sender” and place it back in the mail. This will assist us in the process of updating our voter list .

Once information is received that a voter may no longer reside at the address listed on their voter record, the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires Election Officials to follow a multi-step voter notification process before the voter registration can be cancelled. Election Officials at the county and local level use a number of tools to keep their lists accurate. Due to Michigan connecting their drivers license file to their qualified voter file, when a voter changes their address on their Michigan drivers license, their voter registration address is automatically updated, increasing record accuracy. Election Officials also utilize the National Change of Address (NCOA) database through the U.S. Postal Service to verify if someone has moved. Additionally, in 2019 Michigan became a member of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a multi-state coalition that compares voter registration data to improve the accuracy of each state’s voter registration database. If a Michigan voter registers to vote in another state, local Election Officials are notified and the voter is removed from Michigan’s rolls.

An application for an absentee ballot must be submitted to the correct City or Township Clerk before a ballot can be issued to a voter. The application must include a signature that matches the voter’s signature on file in order to issue a ballot. Forging someone else’s signature or providing other false information on an application for an absentee ballot is a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

If you receive mail, email or text messages that you believe to be fraudulent or in error, please report those to our Office at countyclerk@livgov.com or (517) 546-8177.

What is the status of my absentee ballot and/or application?

If you’re unsure about the status of your Absentee Ballot Application, or the status of the ballot itself, check here. There, you can view voter information, including:

  • Are you registered?
  • Has your Absentee Ballot Application been received?
  • Has your ballot been mailed?
  • Has your ballot been received?
  • Who is your local City or Township Clerk?

What is the deadline for absentee ballots to be submitted?

In Michigan, ballots must be received by a local Clerk or in a drop box by the close of the polls at 8 p.m. on Election Day. 

Valid absentee ballots returned by military and overseas voters must received within 6 days of Election Day to be tabulated.

How do I know my ballot won't get lost in the mail?

All absentee ballot envelopes are color coordinated and have specific markings on them to help ensure envelopes do not get lost. Any voter can track their ballot status at michigan.gov/vote. Voters can also turn in their absentee ballot in-person or at your local Clerk’s drop box.

Example of Absentee Ballot Envelopes

Additional Resources

Elections Division
Elizabeth Hundley, Livingston County Clerk

Elizabeth Hundley
County Clerk

Kristi Cox
Chief Deputy County Clerk

Joseph Bridgman
Elections Coordinator/Deputy Clerk



(517) 546-8177


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Historical Courthouse

200 E Grand River Ave
Howell, MI 48843


(517) 546-4354