Dear Crabby, Is It Too Late to Register to Vote?

Dear Crabby,

My neighbor and I were commiserating the other day about the impending onslaught of campaign commercials coming our way as the elections draw closer. But she caught me off guard when she asked about the deadline for registering to vote. When is that again?

Fran Forgetful

Dear Fran Forgetful,

Great question! Just to get all the information out in the open, Michiganders will be voting three times this year. First up is the Presidential Primary on March 10, followed by the Michigan State Primary on August 4, and we’ll wrap up with the BIG one – the General Election on November 3. And there’s great news for those of you who save everything for the very last minute – there is no deadline for registering to vote!

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Thanks to the passing of Proposal 3 back in 2018, Michigan now allows same-day registration. All you need is proof of residency, but you will still need to vote before the polls close at 8 p.m.

Another big change this time around is who can vote via absentee ballot. In the past there have been certain criteria a person had to meet in order to get the golden absentee ballot. For example, you had to be age 60 or older, be working the polls on election day, out of town on election day, or unable to vote on Election Day because of a physical disability, religious tenets, or incarceration. While some have squawked that letting anyone have an absentee ballot is madness, I kind of like it. Mrs. Crabby and I have voted in absentia (That’s right. I know big words.) for quite some time now and it’s pretty convenient. Think about it. These days folks are busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. They’ve got work, kids, activities, traffic – you name it! On election day Murphy and his stupid law seem to be in rare form trying to keep people away from the polls. And if you want people to vote and you keep telling them their vote matters, well you better figure out a way to make it happen! In my younger days, I enjoyed strolling to the polls. First, with my parents and then on my own. It was neat to see democracy playing out in front of my eyes. In my house voting was taken very seriously. If you didn’t get supper until you had voted. My momma wasn’t messing around. She even checked with the folks at the polling place to make sure we had voted. Otherwise, no food for you! If you are going to vote by absentee ballot, better get a shake on. The deadline to request one is Friday, March 6, 2020, by 5 p.m. EST. Pretty sure you can find the form online. Just ask Google.

The bottom line is that no one should have an excuse not to vote. It’s never been easier and it’s still a privilege to do so. If you can complain about professional athletes not standing for the national anthem and how it dishonors veterans and what they fought for, then you can find time in your overscheduled life to vote. Also, if you choose not to vote, then keep your yap shut when you’re unhappy with the outcome. Our country wasn’t built on the ‘have your cake and eat it too’ philosophy.

I hope that answers your question and I approve this post.

Dear Crabby


About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. Perhaps you might like to also discuss “rank choice voting”? Only 4 states are using it but it certainly beats the caucus circus!

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