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Where to Request and Return Absentee Ballots in Detroit for August Primary

Detroit Free Press
July 12, 2021
Clara Hendrickson

Thirteen satellite vote centers in Detroit open Monday morning to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and return a ballot for the city’s Aug. 3 primary election. Voters can also return their ballots at 20 drop box locations around the city.

The satellite vote centers are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday with the exception of the Department of Elections, which is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. With the exception of the city clerk’s office, the vote centers will also be open the weekend before Election Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 31 and Aug. 1.

Absentee voting at the locations will end at 4 p.m. on Aug. 2, but voters can drop their ballots at one of the city’s 20 drop boxes until 8 p.m. on Aug. 3. Ballots returned via the postal service must arrive by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Satellite voting centers will operate at the following locations. Each location has a dropbox available to voters 24/7: 

  • Wayne County Community College District Northwest Campus — 8200 W. Outer Drive 48219
  • Greater Grace Temple — 23500 W. 7 Mile 48219
  • Northwest Activities Center — 18100 Meyers 48235
  • Tindal Activity Center — 10301 W. 7 Mile 48221
  • Farwell Recreation Center — 2711 E. Outer Drive 48234
  • Detroit Water & Sewerage Customer Care Center — 13303 E. McNichols 48205
  • Wayne County Community College District Eastern Campus — 5901 Conner St. 48213
  • Butzel Family Recreation Center — 7737 Kercheval St. 48214
  • Department of Elections — 2978 W. Grand Blvd. 48202
  • City Clerk’s Office — 2 Woodward Ave. 48226
  • Clark Park Coalition — 1130 Clark Ave. 48209
  • Kemeny Recreation Center — 2260 S. Fort St. 48217
  • Adams Butzel Recreation Complex — 10500 Lyndon St. 48238

The city has also set up seven drop box locations that are not attached to a satellite voting center. Dropboxes are available 24/7 at the following locations: 

  • Rouge Park Golf Course — 11701 Burt Road 48228
  • Detroit Pistons Performance Center — 690 Amsterdam St. 48202
  • Wayne County Community College District Downtown Campus — 1001 W. Fort St. 48226
  • North Rosedale Park Community House — 18445 Scarsdale St. 48223
  • Messiah Baptist Church — 8100 W. 7 Mile 48221
  • Renaissance Baptist Church — 1045 E. Grand Blvd. 48207
  • Liberty Temple Baptist Church — 17188 Greenfield Road 48235

Detroit voters will have access to fewer satellite voting centers and drop boxes to return absentee ballots for the city’s upcoming primary election compared with the Nov. 3 election.

While the city set up 23 satellite vote centers and 32 drop boxes for the presidential election, there are 13 satellite vote centers and 20 drop boxes in place for the city’s primary election.

Detroit election officials cited lower voter turnout expected for the city’s primary compared with the presidential election, as well as costs associated with staffing and monitoring the drop boxes, in explaining the decision to utilize fewer boxes.

Candidates challenging Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey have blasted the decision to set up fewer drop boxes and called for reinstalling the drop boxes used in 2020.

Detroit’s August primary will determine the candidates who will face off against each other in the November election for mayor, clerk and City Council. There are no August primaries for the Board of Police Commissioners or Community Advisory Council because no race saw more than two candidates file to run.

Meanwhile, the fate of Proposal P on revisions to Detroit’s charter remains uncertain. The Michigan Supreme Court could soon weigh in on legal challenges to the validity of the ballot question and determine whether Detroit voters will have a chance to adopt or reject proposed changes to the city’s governing document.

In addition to the satellite centers and the Department of Elections, Detroiters can register to vote by going to the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.mvic.sos.mi.us/registervoter or accessing the Michigan voter registration application from the Detroit Department of Elections website at www.detroitmi.gov/departments/elections. Voters can also request an absentee ballot application by calling the Department of Elections at 313-876-0190.

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