Election FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED ELECTION QUESTIONS


Are you ready for Election Day? As you prepare for the upcoming election, check out the City Clerk’s Office’s answers to frequently asked questions.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Where can I find credible information about the election? Voters can find comprehensive, accurate election information at the online Michigan Voter Information Center. There, you can: 

  • Check your voter registration.
  • View a sample ballot.
  • Track the status of your absentee ballot.
  • Locate your local clerk and ballot drop box.
  • Find your polling place and hours.
  • And more!

Residents also can visit our elections webpage at kentwood.us/elections or contact the City Clerk’s Office at elections@kentwood.us or 616.698.9610 with any questions.

When are the polls open? Polls are open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on Election Day.

Where is my polling location? This depends on which ward and precinct you live in. You can find your polling location at kentwood.us/elections. If you’re unsure of your precinct or polling location, you can visit Michigan.gov/Vote.

Where can I find a sample ballot?
 You can find a sample ballot at Michigan.gov/Vote.

When are election results available? Election results for Kentwood polling locations are posted on Kent County’s election website – accesskent.com/Departments/Elections/Results – as soon as all early voting, Election Day and absentee ballots are tabulated. Polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, and it takes several hours to complete the required processing and verification before results can be posted.

Do I have to vote for every office and question on the ballot? No. You don’t need to vote the entire ballot for it to be counted. You can choose the races or ballot questions for which you want to vote.

Can I register to vote on Election Day? Yes. You can register up to and including on Election Day with proof of residency. However, we suggest you register to vote as soon as possible. If you want to register by mail, online or at the Secretary of State’s office, you must do so by Monday, Feb. 12 for the Feb. 27 presidential primary. Once that deadline has passed, you need to register at Kentwood City Hall, 4900 Breton Ave. SE. 

Why am I receiving postcards and other mailings about my absentee ballot? The City Clerk’s Office only mails official absentee applications and ballots upon request from a registered voter. You can verify your ballot has been received at Michigan.gov/Vote. No other election-related mailings come from the City. Any additional mailings come from third-party organizations and sometimes look similar to official materials. 

Why am I being asked to select a party ballot?  By state law, voters must select a political party ballot (Republican or Democratic) for the presidential primary. This selection must be done in writing by completing the Application to Vote/Ballot Selection Form during early voting or when voting on Election Day, or on the Absent Voter Ballot Application form if voting absentee. This requirement applies only to the presidential primary. Choosing a political party ballot does not require you to affiliate with that political party and does not mean you are registering for that party. There is no political party registration requirement in Michigan. Any Michigan registered voter can participate in the presidential primary. If you do want to vote for a party you may request a local ballot (Kentwood School Millage) if applicable

How can I help spread accurate information about voting and elections? Reference information from reputable sources such as our website – kentwood.us/elections – and the Michigan Voter Information Center at Michigan.gov/Vote.

Early Voting

What is early voting? In November 2022, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment that gives voters the right to vote early and in person at early voting sites before statewide and federal elections. Early voting enables a voter to cast a ballot before Election Day in an experience similar to voting on Election Day. During the early voting period, voters are issued a ballot and can insert their ballot directly into a tabulator at the early voting site.

Who is eligible to vote early? Any registered voter can vote early for state and federal elections.

Where is the early voting site in Kentwood? When is it open? Kentwood will have one early voting site for all three precincts in the Community Room at the Kent District Library – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch, 4950 Breton Ave. SE.

The early voting site will be open 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Feb. 17-25.

Can I change my vote if I participate in early voting and change my mind before Election Day? No. Once ballots have been submitted into the tabulator, they cannot be changed.

Can I register to vote at the early voting site? No. Voter registration must take place at the City Clerk’s Office during business hours: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and 7:30 a.m.-noon Friday) or by mail through the State of Michigan if more than 15 days before the election.

ABSENTEE / MAIL-IN VOTING

How can I request an absentee ballot? A signed application is required to receive an absentee ballot. Application forms and an online application option are available at michigan.gov/vote.  A completed form may be returned to the City Clerk’s Office by mail, in a drop box (see below for details), by email to elections@kentwood.us or in person at City Hall.

When should I return my absentee ballot? Please return your ballot as soon as you are done making your choices. While ballots can be returned until 8 p.m. on Election Day, there are several steps involved in processing them and keeping them secure, so returning them as soon as you’re finished helps staff make sure everything is ready to be counted. 

How can I return my absentee ballot? If you’re returning your signed absentee ballot by mail to the City Clerk's Office, we recommend you put it in the mail by Monday, Feb. 12 for the presidential primary. You also can hand-deliver it to the City Clerk’s Office at Kentwood City Hall, 4900 Breton Ave. SE, during regular business hours or use one of the 24-hour drop boxes listed below. To track your absentee ballot, go to Michigan.gov/Vote. 

Do you have a drop box for ballots? Yes. The City has three drop boxes you can drive up to and place your ballot in at any time for your convenience at the following secure locations:

  • 4900 Breton Ave. SE (in the median south of City Hall)
  • 355 48th St. SE (outside the Kentwood Activities Center)
  • 4151 Embassy Drive SE (outside of Fire Station 2)

Do I need to sign my absentee ballot envelope exactly like my driver’s license? No. The City Clerk’s Office matches your ballot signature to the most current signature the Michigan Secretary of State has on file.

How do I know my ballot has been received and will be counted? You can verify your ballot has been received at Michigan.gov/Vote. It may take a few days to be checked in at the City Clerk’s Office, so it may not show as received immediately. Once your ballot has been verified and received, it will be counted on Election Day. If there are any problems, the City Clerk’s Office will contact you. 

I’ve made a mistake on my ballot. What do I do? If you think you have made a mistake, you can get another ballot. Please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 616.698.9610 for more information.

If I requested an absentee ballot and then decide not to send it in, will I still be allowed to vote at my precinct on Election Day? If you receive an absentee ballot and do not return it, you will have to surrender the ballot at the polls before voting. If you do not have the ballot in your possession, you will have to sign a legal affidavit stating the ballot was lost or destroyed. The election inspector will contact the City Clerk's Office to verify the ballot was not received. The ballot surrender and affidavit are recorded so the absentee ballot cannot be counted.

On Election Day, if you’ve already turned in an absentee ballot and want to vote in person, you won’t be allowed to do so.

HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS?

If you have other questions not included on this page, please feel free to explore comprehensive election information at the online Michigan Voter Information Center and our elections webpage

The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office has its own list of frequently asked election questions and answers here. Residents also may contact the City Clerk’s Office at elections@kentwood.us or 616.698.9610.