Legal Immigration Blog

July 22, 2020
Mary Heinemann

How to Register to Vote

Register to Vote to Make Your Voice Heard! 

Think registering to vote is hard? Thing again! The Secretary of State makes this process very easy, walking you through it step by step. 

To be eligible to register to vote you must be:

  • A Michigan resident (at the time you register) and a resident of your city or township for at least 30 days (when you vote) 
  • A United States Citizen
  • At least 18 years of age (when you vote)
  • Not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison

Voter Registration Deadline: Received or postmarked by the 15th day before Election Day.

  • Online voter registration is available to Michigan driver’s license and state ID holders 
  • You may also register in-person through Election Day at your municipal clerk’s office. Proof of residence is required if registering on or after the 14th day before an election, including on Election Day. You CANNOT register to vote at a polling place.

Online voter registration  asks for your Michigan driver’s license or state ID number, but not other document is required. If you are registering on or before the 15th day before Election Day, no ID is required. Michigan’s voter registration form asks for your Michigan driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it. If you register on or after the 14th day before an election, including on Election Day, then you need to provide proof of residence, such as a utility bill or bank account statement with your name and residential address.

Acceptable IDs include:

  • a driver’s license or identification card issued by Michigan or another state,
  • a U.S. passport,
  • a photo ID issued by a federal or state government,
  • a military ID with photo,
  • a high school or college photo ID, or
  • a tribal ID with photo.

By Mail or Early In-Person

  • Any registered voter can now vote absentee by mail or early in person at a municipal clerk’s office WITHOUT any excuse or reason.
  • Request forms for absentee ballot must be received in writing by your local election official by 5 p.m. the Friday before Election Day.
  • Completed ballots must be returned to the municipal clerk’s office before 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • A voter may request and cast an absentee ballot at a municipal clerk’s office beginning 45 days before an election through Election Day. Hours may vary from normal business hours on Saturday and Sunday, but they will be open for at least 8 hours on both days.

Election Day

  • Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time, then you must be allowed to vote.

Upcoming Election Dates 2020

  • Primary Election (Other Offices) Registration Deadline: July 20
  • Primary Election (Other Offices): August 4
  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 19
  • General Election: November 3

Make sure to look up your voting site and plan ahead! Find out more information here Official Election Website


DO NOT register to vote if you are not eligible to do so. You are not eligible to register to vote if you are not currently a US citizen. Registering to vote as a non-citizen can result in serious legal consequences effecting your current immigration status. 

Local County Clerk Offices 

Wayne County

2 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

(313) 224- 6263

Macomb County

120 N Main St, Mt Clemens, MI 48043

(586) 469- 5120

Oakland County

1200 Telegraph Rd Building #12E, Pontiac, MI 48341

(248) 858- 0581 

July 9, 2020
Mary Heinemann

The 2020 Census Counts, So Do You

It affects us all! Here at The International Institute of Metro Detroit, IIMD, we are committed to the well-being of our community and our clients.

Whether you are a citizen or not, you must be counted for the 2020 Census.

The Census takes place every 10 years when the US government counts every person who lives in the country, regardless of citizenship status, age, nationality, or ability. The Census will use the information collected to allocate more than $675 billion in federal funds for states and communities per year for the next ten years, until the 2030 Census. Areas to which funds are distributed:

  • Medicaid/ Medicare
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Programs
  • Head Start and Early Head Start
  • Special education grants 
  • Vocational rehabilitation services

Without accurate information collected through the Census, elected officials cannot make informed decisions about how to allocate needed federal tax dollars effectively to communities. The information collected by the Census increases the ability and funds to advocate on disparities in housing, health care, employment, and education.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic it is even more crucial to get an accurate reflection of how many folks reside in the US and where. Usually, Census workers would do door-to-door visits ensuring every home has been visited multiple times to gather correct data. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible to do in a safe and secure fashion. This makes it even more important to fill out the Census: either online at MY2020CENCUS.GOV, through the paper form, or by calling the toll-free number 844- 330- 2020.

Through the United We Count Detroit 2020 Census project, IIMD and its partners, the Islamic Center of Detroit (ICD) and the Mayoral Office of Immigrant Affairs and Economic Inclusion, are leading an effort to increase the 2020 census count by at least 6% by engaging, educating, and assisting under-counted communities on the city’s east and west side in the Banglatown and Warrendale neighborhoods. We created a robust strategy which included the following:

1. Facilitating six information sessions; 

2. Establishing community-based census service centers; 

3. Creating a multilingual marketing campaign; 

4. Designing and implementing a canvassing campaign.  

As a result of COVID-19, this strategy had to be revised; yet we nevertheless conducted the six information sessions and designated census service centers in the above mentioned communities. We also partnered with the city’s immigration taskforce and Dr Hayg Oshagan, founder and director of New Michigan Media, to create the online marketing campaign, the partnership developed multicultural outreach materials in a variety of community languages. We have shared these on social media and with community partners to ensure our messaging reaches and engages the intended audiences. 

We appreciate and thank our project manager Muthanna Al-Hanooti and partners, ICD and the Mayoral Office of Immigrant Affairs and Economic Inclusion.