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Secretary of State offices to close, May ballots to be mailed out amid stay at home order

Starting Tuesday, all 131 SOS offices will be closed.

As part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay at home executive order, all Secretary of State branches will close through April 13. The SOS will also be mailing all May ballots.

"I fully support Gov. Whitmer and the leadership she is demonstrating by issuing a stay-at-home order,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “I have been communicating with her for some time on this issue, and know this is necessary to protect health of our employees and the public.”

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The governor's order states that all non-critical infrastructure workers stay home, which means that the Department of State will temporarily not be able to provide in-person transactions and renewals by mail. 

Many services will continue to be available online, but there could be delays to processing. Election related services can be found online, as well.

Late fees will be waived for expired plates that have occurred since the department first shifted branch operations on March 16. Michigan State Police and local law enforcement have been notified about this change.

In addition, all counties where a May ballot has not been postponed will now receive ballots by mail. The majority of the questions on the ballot are about school district millages and bonds, and many districts have elected to postpone, according to Benson. Clerks have several more days before a decision must be made on the May ballot. 

“We are also working to ensure the health and safety guidelines of our state and federal government are followed in the lead up to and administration of the May 5 election,” said Benson. “This includes working to recruit election workers to serve in all jurisdictions and providing hygiene supplies and explicit guidance on how to process absent-voter ballots and carry out other election duties while observing strict health precautions.”


Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.

Do you have more questions about COVID-19 in Michigan? Check out the state's website.


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