MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (2/3/2020) - Voting in the Iowa Caucuses starts today, setting the stage for Democrats to start choosing which candidate they will send to face off with President Donald Trump in November.
Voters in Iowa kick off the presidential race. Voters around the country will also have their chance to decide who they want to appear on the ballot over the next several months, including Michigan on March 10.
The Michigan Primary comes after the New Hampshire Primary and Super Tuesday, but it's still early in the season. That means Michigan could play a crucial role in the presidential election.
There will be a total of 15 Democrats and four Republicans on the ballot in Michigan. Six candidates who have already dropped out of the race are still on the ballot and more could drop out before Election Day.
Voters will have to choose if they want to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary. Voters cannot pick a candidate in both parties.
Mid-Michigan voters also will be deciding other races during the primary, including the race to fill the last nine months of Sheldon Neeley's term in the State House. He vacated the seat in December to become Flint's mayor.
Several Mid-Michigan school districts and local governments also have millages and bond issues on this year's primary ballot. Ballots will be available for voters who want to take part in local races but skip the presidential primary.
Voting already started in the primary, as local clerks are accepting completed absentee ballots.
There have been some changes to Michigan voting laws since the last presidential primary. Since passing Proposal 3, voters can request an absentee ballot without providing a reason until March 6.
After that, voters can obtain an absentee ballot from their local clerk's office.
First time voters have until Feb. 24 to register to vote at the Secretary of State's office, online or at voter registration drives. After that, registration will be accepted at local clerk's offices, but voters need to provide proof of residency.