MICHIGAN, USA — Starting Sept. 24, Michigan voters can start submitting ballots to the state for the general election. The Michigan Secretary of State is encouraging people to vote early and to mail in their ballots because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But what happens if you submit a ballot early, and then change your mind?
The good news is, you are allowed to change your vote.
The process is called "spoiling" a ballot. Voters can spoil the ballot they already submitted through a written request to their clerk. Here's how they can do that:
- The voter needs to sign the written request and ask for a new ballot to be mailed to them or they can pick it up in person at the clerk's office.
- This request needs to be received by a clerk by 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 if it is being submitted by mail. Voters can also spoil an absentee ballot in person at the clerk's office until 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the election system has procedures in place to make sure everyone only gets one vote.
"If you do that, we will simply invalidate whatever previous ballot was sent to you and make that new ballot your vote. And so you're there's provisions like that in place to ensure if someone does try to replace their vote and invalidate their ballot, that we can track that," she said.
There is a statewide ballot tracking system allows voters to keep tabs on the status of their ballot at michigan.gov/vote.
"We in Michigan have a statewide voter file that is updated in real time with every voters' interaction. When you request your ballot to be sent to you, it's noted in the file. When we receive your ballot back, it is noted in the file. When your ballot is counted, it's noted in the file," Benson said.
Voters cannot spoil their ballot on Election Day.
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