Absent voter ballots are available for all elections. They provide voters with a convenient method for casting a ballot when they are unable to attend the polls on Election Day. SPECIAL NOTE: A person who registers to vote by mail must vote in person in the first election in which he or she participates. This restriction does not apply to overseas voters, voters who are handicapped or voters who are 60 years of age or older. You may request an absent voter ballot by mailing an application (click here to download) , mailing a letter or postcard, or you can obtain an application from the Clerk's Office by calling (269) 948-2194. Requests to have an absent voter ballot mailed to you must be submitted to the Clerk no later than 5:00 PM the Friday before the election. Return your application to Rutland Charter Township, 2461 Heath Rd., Hastings, MI 49058.
Once your request is received by the clerk’s office, your signature on the request will be verified against your voter registration record before a ballot is issued. Requests for absent voter ballots are processed immediately. Absent voter ballots may be issued to you at your home address or any address outside of your city or township of residence. After receiving your absent voter ballot, you have until Election Day to complete the ballot and return it to the clerk’s office. Your ballot will not be counted unless your signature is on the return envelope and matches your signature on file. If you received assistance voting the ballot, then the signature of the person who helped you must also be on the return envelope. Only you, a family member or person residing in your household, a mail carrier, or election official is authorized to deliver your signed absent voter ballot to the clerk’s office. If an emergency, such as a sudden illness or family death prevents you from reaching the polls on Election Day, you may request an emergency absent voter ballot. Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absent voter ballots has passed, but before 4:00 PM on election day. The emergency must have occurred at a time which made it impossible for you to apply for a regular absent voter ballot. The clerk’s office (269-948-2194) will have more information about emergency absent voter ballots. Voting is one of the most cherished and fundamental rights in our country. If you are eligible to obtain an absent voter ballot and cannot attend the polls on Election Day, use of the absent voter ballot is encouraged.