Can I change my vote? This is the question that is trending on Google Trends in the US after Michigan voters cast their ballots.
Google Trends saw a high volume of Google searches of the phrase “can I change my vote” on Tuesday morning in the US around 6 AM ET.
Michigan was one of the states where the phrase surged. The state is one of the crucial battleground states in the US presidential elections 2020.
Michigan is also one of those states where changing one’s vote is allowed. They call it spoiling one’s ballot. This change is used during primaries after candidates are out of the races, but it can be practiced during any election.
The Secretary of State’s Office said that voters have until 5 PM on Friday, Oct. 30 to change their votes by mail. If one wants a new ballot, they must sign a request and ask for a new ballot mailed to one’s home or be picked up in person by that deadline.
Moreover, voters can also spoil it in person at the local clerk’s office by 10 AM on Nov. 2.
If voters have not yet submitted their ballots, they can return it and spoil it in person by 4 PM at the local clerk’s office by 4 PM on Nov. 2. Meanwhile, if a voter has not yet returned their ballot, they can surrender it in person or secure a statement saying that the ballot was lost or destroyed and then vote in person.
Trump’s reaction to changing one’s vote
President Donald Trump encourages voters who voted absentee to consider changing their votes.
“Strongly Trending (Google) since immediately after the second debate is CAN I CHANGE MY VOTE? This refers changing it to me. The answer in most states is YES. Go do it. Most important Election of your life!” he tweeted Tuesday morning.
“If you already submitted a mail-in or absentee ballot, you cannot vote at your polling place on election day,” according to the state’s election website and a poll worker manual.
“If you did not return your mail-in or absentee ballot and you want to vote in person, you have two options: Bring your ballot and the pre-addressed outer return envelope to your polling place to be voided. After you surrender your ballot and envelope and sign a declaration, you can then vote a regular ballot. If you don’t surrender your ballot and return envelope, you can only vote by provisional ballot at your polling place,” it said.
In New York, if voters have sent an absentee ballot but change their decision, they can show up to their polling place during early voting or on Election Day and cast a vote, in which case the absentee ballot is not counted, according to the state Board of Elections.
Voters in New Hampshire who sent an absentee ballot can go to the polls on Election Day during the first hour and vote in person, or before their absentee ballot is processed.
A voter can cancel their original absentee ballot and request a new one in Wisconsin, they can only do so on Oct. 29, the legal deadline for requesting absentee ballots by mail.