About Elections

About Elections


In 1845, ONE VOTE brought Texas into the Union.
In 1878, ONE VOTE gave Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency of the U.S.
In 1941, ONE VOTE saved Selective Service – just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Of the eight states that administer elections on the local level, Michigan is the largest state both in terms of its population and geography to do so. Involving 83 county clerks, 280 city clerks, and 1,241 township clerks, Michigan’s elections system is administered by 1,604 county and local election officials making it the most decentralized elections system in the nation.

The highly decentralized nature of Michigan’s election system can be traced to the small town traditions of 17th century New England. The first organized local governments on the American continent, New England towns of the 17th century gave rise to town meetings and the election of citizens to locally controlled offices and boards. From New England, the concept of local self-governance spread south and west to a number of Mid-Atlantic States and most of the Midwest including Michigan. (The establishment of townships in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin is rooted in the county and township governments put in place in the region after the enactment of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.) Today, Michigan is one of 20 states in the nation that maintains a township level of government.

All federal, state, county, city and township, village and school elections are restricted to the following three dates each year: the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May, August and November. Exceptions are provided for:
• Special elections called under the State Legislature.
• Presidential Preference Primary is held the second Tuesday in March in each presidential election year.
• School districts, intermediate school districts and community college districts that wish to present a millage proposal, bond proposal or a proposal to borrow funds on a date other than one of the three “fixed” election dates. (Certain limitations apply.)