The Michiganders' guide to voting in the 2020 election
The 2020 general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
At stake is the presidency, as well as congressional seats and dozens of local races. A record number of absentee ballots is expected to be cast. State offficials say vote early and check the status of your ballot.
The closer you get to Election Day, the more you should consider delivering your ballot in person rather than relying on the postal service.
Here's more on what you need to know as you cast your ballot.
Your guide to voting
Voting by absentee ballot in Michigan is easy. We walk you through it.
The process of voting absentee is straightforward, with protections along the way to ensure the security and integrity of your ballot, say local and national elections experts.
Want to cast an early ballot? Start now
Even though Election Day is not until Nov. 3, you can now cast an early ballot in person in Michigan.
Early voting in Michigan: Answering your biggest questions
Here's how to track your ballot
There are several quick and effective ways to verify your ballot has been received before the polls close on Election Day.
How Michigan ensures your absentee ballot is secure
How exactly the security of absentee voting is achieved comes down to the Michigan Secretary of State working with local clerks and elections officials to ensure each application and ballot is adequately screened.
Our fact checks
U.S. Senate race
John James campaign ad on Gary Peters' COVID record misleading
An ad from Republican John James claims that Democratic Sen. Gary Peters “downplayed the pandemic” and “failed to act.” That’s not accurate.
Gary Peters says John James opposes abortion even when mother's life at risk
A Facebook ad from Democratic incumbent Sen. Gary Peters offers a partially accurate characterization of where his Republican opponent John James stands on the issue of abortion.
John James cherry-picks numbers on Gary Peters’ attendance
Contrary to claims that Gary Peters “doesn’t show up for work,” multiple measurements indicate a high level of engagement by Peters in Washington.
NRSC falsely claims Peters fought support for veterans
The National Republican Senatorial Committee attack on Gary Peters’ record on veterans issues distorts or ignores votes Peters has cast as a member of Congress and his own efforts to introduce and sponsor legislation to support veterans.
Republican ad attacks Peters for supporting LGBTQ rights bill
Gary Peters comes under fire for supporting legislation that would allow student athletes to compete on the basis of their gender identity, one change of many that would result from a sweeping LGBTQ rights bill Peters has co-sponsored.
Michigan Democrats say John James' tough talk on China is hypocritical
In a campaign ad, the Michigan Democratic Party makes the strange claim that John James’ tough-on-China rhetoric is hypocritical.
Democratic Jewish PAC tries to link James to anti-Semitism
John James has unfairly been accused of trafficking in anti-Semitism.
Ad claims James supports DeVos' agenda to cut public school funding
John James supports education secretary Betsy DeVos but has not outlined his own position on school choice, making a Democratic PAC ad claiming James supports DeVos’ agenda to cut public school funding inaccurate.
Attack ad exaggerates John James’ health care stance
While John James has vowed to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions without making clear how he would do that, it is not true that he wants to let insurance companies discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions.
James stands out for not taking stance on vacant Supreme Court seat
John James is the only competitive candidate in a battleground state who has not made his position on considering Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election clear.
US House race, 8th district
Slotkin's GOP challenger says she's misleading voters on her record
Our fact check finds that Republican Paul Junge, who’s challenging Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, is the one who has misled voters on Slotkin’s record, falsely stating she is not the moderate and bipartisan lawmaker she claims to be.
Junge says Slotkin voted against condemning Chinese cyberattacks. Not true
Paul Junge inaccurately states that Slotkin voted against condemning Chinese cyberattacks. Junge’s claim interpreted Slotkin’s vote on a procedural move as a vote against a resolution condemning the cyberattacks.
Junge claims Biden called for a complete ban on fracking
Junge incorrectly claims that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has endorsed a ban on fracking.
US House race, 11th district
Stevens attacks Esshaki for supporting ACA repeal but mischaracterizes the consequences
A campaign ad for Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills, says her Republican challenger, Eric Esshaki, supports a plan that would allow insurers to kick more than 100,000 COVID-19 survivors in Michigan off their health care plans. That's mostly false.
Rep. Haley Stevens comes under attack on health care
Republican Eric Esshaki, who’s challenging Rep. Haley Stevens, makes false claims on her position on health care and the impact of her health care platform.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail
Sen. Harris misstates number of Black restaurants in Michigan that received loan
Campaigning in Michigan, Sen. Kamala Harris used an incorrect statistic to highlight racial disparities in access to PPP loans.
What Rep. Andy Levin's deleted tweet got wrong on census
In an effort to encourage more Michiganders to complete the 2020 census, Rep. Andy Levin initially misstated that each American not counted creates a loss in federal funding for health care programs. But how much federal health care funding is attributable to missed respondents depends on which state they live in.
Donald Trump Jr. tweet on dead people voting in Michigan false and misleading
Donald Trump Jr. makes false claims about dead people voting in Michigan’s August primary.
Law and order & police reform
Upton campaign ad says Hoadley voted to defund the police. That's not true.
A campaign ad from Rep, Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, says his opponent, state Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, voted to defund the police. In June, Hoadley voted against a resolution discouraging local governments from reducing their police department’s budgets. He did not vote to reduce spending on law enforcement.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s claim on Detroit’s police spending vs. health care
Rep. Rashida Tlaib accurately pointed out the disparity in funding between police and health care in Detroit.
Ad attacks Oakland County Executive Coulter on policing in Ferndale
A number of misleading attacks were levied against Democratic candidate Dave Coulter, who’s running for Oakland County executive, regarding his record on policing when he served as Ferndale’s mayor.
Michigan’s Gov. Whitmer didn’t defund police and corrections
A local radio program falsely claimed that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defunded the police while a campaign ad from Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, inaccurately stated that his Democratic challenger Jon Hoadley voted to defund the police.
Trump's promises to Michigan
On revitalizing manufacturing and the auto industry in Michigan
The Free Press took a deep dive into job data and found that, even pre-COVID, the promised resurgence in jobs never came.
Wildly inaccurate claims at Michigan rally
What key voting blocs say
Black voters: No love for Trump
President Trump says he has done more for Black voters than any president since Abraham Lincoln. Here's a look at his record.
Suburban women's message to Trump
There's a far greater chance that Trump’s outdated message imploring so-called soccer moms to support him will actually motivate suburban women — already trending toward Democrats — to vote for Joe Biden.
Michigan farmers: Trump has our back
Has President Trump maintained his support among Michigan farmers over the last four years? Thanks to an infusion of cash from the Trump administration, Michigan farmers are pretty happy with what the president has done for them.
Senate race spurs fierce ad campaign
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and challenger John James are in one of the nastiest campaigns for statewide office in recent memory
Where do the polls stand?
Michigan poll shows Biden up on Trump
Free Press poll: Joe Biden up by 9 percentage points in Michigan; Trump stuck in neutral.
Video: Washington correspondent Todd Spangler looks at who’s leading and by how much.
Trump trails Biden by 14 points nationally after first debate
The poll showed 40 percent thought Joe Biden did a better job on the debate, compared with 24 percent who thought President Trump did a better job.
Free Press endorsements
Every election season, the Detroit Free Press' Editorial Board makes its endorsements for the general election, from the presidential race on down to local races. Here's our full list of endorsements.