Don’t forget: Make your voice heard on Election Day!

October 15, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

Election Day, Nov. 3, is closing in, and the organization is continuing to encourage all faculty, staff, learners and patients to exercise their right to vote in the way that makes them feel the safest. 

If you haven’t done so yet, it is important to take some time and prepare to vote while adhering to public health guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some things to keep in mind that will help you in the lead-up to Election Day:

Make a plan to vote

  • Register: If you have not yet registered, be sure to check your voter registration status and get information on your polling location here. You can register any time up through Election Day, but it is best to register as soon as possible.
  • Decide how you want to vote: You can vote absentee or in person. Given the public health crisis, members of the U-M community are strongly encouraged to vote absentee. 
    • If voting absentee:
      • Request your ballot: There are several ways to request a ballot. Registered voters can request an absentee ballot online before Oct. 30. All registered voters in Michigan also received an absentee ballot application in the mail. Alternatively, you can request a ballot from your township or city clerk prior to election day.
      • Return your ballot early: Ballots can be returned by mail or to your clerk’s office directly. Voters are encouraged to return absentee ballots as early as possible. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by Nov. 2 or returned to your city or township clerk no later than 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Due to potential postal delays, the State of Michigan recommends at this point that you return ballots to your local clerk’s office in person as opposed to dropping them in the mail. Most have outdoor drop boxes so you don’t need to come into contact with other people.
    • If voting in-person:
      • Know where you vote: Find your polling location here.
      • Decide when you’ll vote: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time on Nov. 3. You have the right to vote if you are in line by 8 p.m.
      • Know what to expect at the polls: Find full details here.
      • View your ballot ahead of time: You can do this by leveraging non-partisan online resources like Vote411 or the Secretary of State’s website.
    • If voting early in person or via absentee ballot, early voting begins Sept. 24 and ends on Nov. 2.
  • If you live in Ann Arbor, you can register or vote early at a pop-up city clerk satellite office right on campus! The office is located in the U-M Museum of Art. Click here to learn more.

Get involved

On top of voting yourself, there are other ways you can help in the election process. Here are a few ideas:

  • Vote tripling: Now that you’ve made a plan to vote, get three other people to vote, too! Talk with colleagues, friends and family, and support them in making their own plan to vote this fall. 
  • Volunteer as a poll worker: Nationally, more than two-thirds of jurisdictions reported that it was either “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to obtain a sufficient number of poll workers to meet their needs. Without poll workers, polling locations can’t open and people cannot vote. You can find out more and sign up online.

Support Michigan Medicine patients

Faculty and staff are able to provide support to patients and families who are at the hospital, provided they do so in a bi-partisan way. They can direct individuals to the 2020 Voting Guide put together by the Office of Patient Experience.

For information on how to support patients and families in exercising their right to vote, download this guide from the Edward Ginsberg Center.

The guide includes information about:

Additionally, Interpreter Services is providing translated voting information in Chinese, French and Arabic. That can be found at the bottom of the 2020 Voting Guide.

In the end, voting is one of the most valuable rights a U.S. citizen can hold, and carrying out that duty is essential. Thank you for making a plan and helping others make their voices heard on Nov. 3!