What a weird year its been. In my lifetime, I cannot recall a time where we had to deal with the problem of people not being able to leave their house to do anything, let alone to vote because they're suddenly placed under quarantine. At least, not in this scale.

If you find yourself with Covid and can't leave the house or hospital there's still a way for you to vote by requesting an emergency absentee ballot. The emergency ballot is hardly new but according to Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons,

In the past this hasn’t been a huge issue they’ve been very very rare

And goes on to explain to Fox 17 that state law allows people to vote regardless of whether they're sick or in the hospital. Of course, in the past this has been a rare occurrence...but it's 2020. And nothing is normal about this year.

I would love to consider myself versed enough to explain the process to you but since I'm new in Michigan I'll let the Secretary of State do it. Here's how it works:

  • If you already have an absentee ballot, you can authorize a family member, mail carrier, or local election official from the clerk’s office to return it for you
  • If you don’t have the ballot you can request one through Friday (10/30)
  • Emergency absentee ballot requests can only be made between 5pm the Friday before the election and 4PM on Election Day
  • They can be requested due to a personal injury or illness or a family death or illness that keeps you away from the polls
  • The voter can have someone deliver the written request to their local clerk. They may also authorize that person to bring the ballot back but it must be in writing and signed by the applicant.
  • Emergency absentee ballot applications have to be in by 4PM on Election Day and back to the clerk’s office that night by 8PM.

We are t-minus 6 days until election day. Early voting is open and, if you can, I would take advantage of that as soon as possible. As well, if you or if you have family members or friends stuck in quarantine due to covid we wish you all a speedy recovery. Please share this info with anyone who might need it so that no one misses their chance to practice their right to vote!

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