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Voting in Detroit: Where to go, what to bring, where to watch the results

Everything you need to know for Election Day, November 8

Michelle & Chris Gerard

It’s the final countdown! The (seemingly) longest election cycle is coming to a close, and we’re so ready to get it over with. But Detroit isn’t just helping to elect a new president (they are here an awful lot, aren’t they?). There are many other decisions to be made. 63 people are running for seven spots on the Detroit Public Schools board. We’re also deciding whether we want to adopt some community benefits agreements for developers. And of course, we’re also voting on regional transit.

So here’s what you need to know before you head out the door to cast your ballot. (We’re assuming you’ve sent in your absentee ballot if you chose to do that) We’ve also included a few ideas on where to watch the results. Have some suggestions? Our comment section is open!

When to Vote

Polls open in Michigan at 7am and stay open until 8pm. If you’re in line at 8pm, you’re allowed to vote. Based on news of early voting in other states over the past week, there may be very long lines this year, so make sure you go in realizing there could be a wait.

Where to Vote

Not sure where you’re polling location is? There are a few ways to find it. Enter your address at the State of Michigan site or ask Google.

Need a ride to your polling location? For those who can afford it, some rideshares are offering discounts on Tuesday. Choose “Find your polling place” to get the discount and the ride. Lyft is also partnering with a Super PAC to offer free rides to the polls.

We’ve also seen many neighborhood groups offering rides. It’s always nice to check in with your neighbors if you’re available on Tuesday and can offer a ride.

What do you need to bring?

You will be asked for an ID (driver’s license, passport, student ID, voter registration, etc.) at your polling station, but you don’t need one to vote. If you don’t have one, you’ll be asked to sign an affidavit claiming you are who you say you are. Here’s a video on what you might expect.

Who to Vote for

Detroit’s ballot will be long this year, FYI. You can find out about many of the issues and candidates on the ballot (in Detroit and around Michigan) at the Michigan Voters Guide. Just enter your address on their site and your specific ballot will come up and allow you to compare candidates and proposals.

What if you see problems at your polling site

It’s been a tense election cycle, and we’re not sure what to expect on voting day. Hopefully, it’s a safe, seamless process. But if you see something off, you can contact the Michigan Secretary of State or Election Protection at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

Should I take a selfie with my ballot?

No. It’s prohibited in Michigan. Don’t worry. You’ll likely get a sticker and your friends will believe you.

Where to Watch the Results

Tuesday night will mark some celebration, much relief, and possibly some fear. A lot of people will be watching the results together. Our friends at Eater Detroit have compiled a list of places that are hosting election-watching parties around town. In Detroit, this includes Briggs, the Park Bar, Craft Work, and Hop Cat. Also, just as a reminder, you need either a passport or enhanced license to get over to Windsor quickly, just in case.

Any other tips or suggestions? Comment below!