For those wanting to get a head start and avoid the crowds at the polls, early voting in Michigan begins Thursday.

With COVID-19, many Michigan voters are either voting absentee this year or heading to the early polls that are open.

We have a great source for all voting questions on our website that has all the links about absentee voting, registering etc. and you can find that info right here.

According to FOX 17, Michigan has a record number of voters who requested to vote absentee this year. Right now the state sits at nearly 2.4 million absentee voters but the number is expected to grown in the next few days especially due to the pandemic.

If you have already received your absentee ballot, this Thursday is the first day you can take those to your clerk's office and if you have someone in the household who has not registered to vote, if they are at least 18 years of age, take them with you and make sure they have their I.D. so they can register.

FOX 17 reported that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has provided 20,000 workers to help clerks across Michigan. If you would like to volunteer to work a poll station, check with your local clerk as soon as possible.

The recommendations on voting absentee are to have your ballot mailed in by October 19 to ensure the vote gets to the clerk in time. A law was passed that states all ballots must be counted that have a postmark of November 2 or earlier. I will be mailing out my ballot early and I highly suggest you do also.

I was talking to my dad and we both had signed up to vote absentee but have been thinking under the current postal climate we may see about switching that to an early polling station if the state will let us. Looks like we have some research to do.

Many folks are being encouraged to vote at the polls in person, you can expect long lines this year, so be prepared to social distance, wait a bit longer than usual, and even bring rain gear and a lunch to prepare for the worst. Maybe a lawn chair wouldn't hurt if you have issues standing for long periods of time.

Never in an election have all the votes been counted on election day. It usually takes about 30 days after to actually have them all counted. Winners are announced based on the delegate votes but who knows this year. This is an unusual election year with COVID-19, so I highly suggest you make a decision soon on how you prefer to handle voting.

I am not here to sway you either way on any candidate, I just suggest you use your right to vote and decide sooner than later on how you feel will be the best voting situation for you.

Vote...and be safe.

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