What to know about voting early in Michigan ahead of Nov. 7 election

Some Michigan voters cast their ballot in person early this fall as part of a pilot program ahead of next year, when all voters can do so.

During the early voting period, which begins Oct. 28 for some and next week for others, voters can go to a site and vote the same way they would on election day.

Several Metro Detroit communities are included in this early voting, including all cities in Oakland County, and Westland in Wayne County. All registered voters in these cities are able to vote early.

See a full list of cities participating in early voting below.

To vote early, find your city's early voting location and visit it like you would on Election Day.

Participating cities must offer at least nine days of early voting, though they can decide to offer early voting for up to 29 days. Early voting must end on the Sunday before the election, which is Nov. 7 this year. 

Following this year's pilot program, all Michigan voters will be able to vote early beginning with the presidential primary in 2024.

"We’re grateful to be partnering with the County on this early voting pilot program," said Farmington Hills City Clerk Pam Smith. "It will give voters, our staff and election workers a chance to familiarize themselves with the early voting process before it expands statewide."

The difference between early voting and absentee voting

Though they may seem to be the same thing, voting early and voting absentee are distinctively different.

When voting absentee, a voter submits their ballot to their clerk, who tabulates it.

Last year, Detroit opened several early voting sites, though these were just places to vote absentee. Voters were able to receive, fill out, and submit absentee ballots that the clerk tabulated. 

When voting early, voters are issued a ballot that they will insert directly into a tabulator at an early voting site. 

Early voting ballots will be counted after 8 p.m. on Election Day, along with absentee ballots and ballots cast that day.

If you already requested and received an absentee ballot but want to vote early, bring it to your voting site and surrender it. 

Early voting locations/times (Click the name of your city to see early voting sites.):