onota township clerk
Laughing Whitefish Lake

You may contact the clerk by calling the township office to leave a message (906-343-6535) or sending an email to In addition to being an elected official and board member, a few of the clerk’s responsibilities include: keeping township records, finances & accounting (in cooperation with the treasurer), recording meeting minutes, and running elections.

For township employees: The clerk has created a fillable PDF mileage and reimbursement form PDF file.

Township Hall Rental

The Onota Township Hall is available for rental by township residents. There is currently no fee. You must provide a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy for safety & liability reasons. Contact the clerk for details, rules, and a lease form.



The clerk runs federal, state, county, and local elections for township residents. On election days, polls are open from 7am – 8pm. If you need an absentee ballot, see the absentee section below.

Anyone issued a Michigan driver’s license or ID card is automatically registered to vote, (unless they intentionally opt out). Michigan voter registration does not need to be renewed – it stays active (there is no expiration date). Note: if you change your driver’s license/ID address to somewhere else in Michigan, it will transfer your voting location.

Next Election: 2024

What’s on the ballot? >>

To see a sample ballot for any scheduled election, enter “Alger County, Onota Township, Precinct 1” on this site. Data must be entered statewide before each election, so please check back later if an upcoming election is not shown yet.

Local Voters

How to Register

To be eligible to vote leave site, you must be: (1) a US Citizen; (2) a township resident; (3) 18 years old by election day.

If you have a Michigan driver’s license or ID card, you were automatically registered to vote upon issuance of your license (unless you specifically marked the box to opt out). Please feel free to contact the local clerk to confirm your voter registration. Otherwise, you can register (1) by printing and mailing a voter registration form PDF file OR (2) in person at the following locations: any Secretary of State office, the Alger County Clerk’s office (at the courthouse), or (3) by contacting the township clerk to schedule a registration time.

How to Vote

Onota Township has only one precinct. The polling location is the Onota Township Hall (E1461 Deerton-Sand Lake Road, Deerton, MI). To see if you’re registered or view a sample ballot, check Michigan’s Voter Information Center Leave site (Please note: All info entered is confidential and the site is securely encrypted).

When you come to vote, please bring photo ID. State law requires picture identification before voting (or signing an affidavit verifying that you do not have it with you). Accepted IDs must have your photo and include: state driver’s license or ID card, US passport, federal government ID, state government ID, military ID, student ID (high school or college), or a tribal ID.

What if I can’t make it to the township hall?

In most cases, you can still vote in a procedure called absentee voting (AV). See the Absentee and Overseas Voters section below.

Who works at an election?

County residents who are trained as election inspectors. You simply need to be a registered voter and attend a free one-hour training provided by the Alger County Clerk (this training is a broad overview of how the voting system works – not specific to any township or city). If you’re interested, check out the election inspector application PDF file and contact the clerk for more information. The township clerk will share more info and training as needed with active inspectors. Election inspectors are paid at the end of election night (rate of $15/hr). The entire day may be up to 16 hours, but workers may split shifts (if preferred). Food is provided for all workers on election day (all meals plus snacks).

Absentee & Overseas Voters

Who can absentee vote?

Any registered voter. Michigan allows no-reason absentee voting (AV), commonly known as “early voting”. To receive an absentee ballot, you must make a written request for a ballot, also known as an “application to vote.”

The township clerk also keeps a permanent absentee voter list. Anyone on this list will automatically be mailed an absentee application before each election. You may still choose to vote in person instead – it just gives you an instant reminder and option to vote absentee. Please contact the clerk if you have questions or would like to be placed on this list.

How do I get a ballot?

To request an absentee ballot, please fill out and sign an absentee voter application PDF file. Send the form to the Onota Township Clerk via (1) mail: PO Box 100, Deerton, MI 49822 (2) email: onotatwp at, or (3) phone (a cell number is available on the township answering machine). If you need an application mailed to you, contact the clerk via one of the methods above.

To have a ballot mailed to you, you must request or send in this AV application by 4 pm on the Friday before the election.


Required Weekend Hours


As per state law: during the weekend immediately before the election, the clerk is now required to spend 8 hours at the township hall (on Saturday and Sunday) in the event that any absentee voters wish to vote in person (see section below for reason). These hours will be posted on the state voting information portal (MVIC Leave site) prior to an election.

What about after the Friday deadline?

After the deadline passes, you may still request to absentee vote; but voting must be done in person at the township hall. Absentee ballots cannot leave the building after this deadline.

Voting absentee after a deadline:
  1. Contact the clerk to request an appointment to vote
  2. Bring photo ID & fill out an AV application at the township hall
  3. Vote your ballot at the hall
  4. When done, place the ballot in its secrecy sleeve
  5. Place the sleeve inside the AV envelope you were given
  6. Seal & sign the outside of the envelope
  7. Give the sealed envelope to the clerk

How do I know my application or ballot has been received?

All absentee voters may check the status of an application or submitted ballot through the Michigan Voter Information Center Leave site. Please note: All information entered is confidential and the site is securely encrypted.

What if I am out of the country? (Military & Overseas Voters)

Special circumstances and protections apply to (1) Active duty military & uniformed service members and their dependents (2) Merchant mariners and their dependents (3) US citizens who are civilians living overseas (permanently or temporarily).

These citizens may:
  • Register to vote at any time before an election (no deadline)
  • Register at their last known US address (even if they do not own or rent the property or the building is no longer present)
  • Register to vote and apply for a ballot via email or fax
  • Apply once a year to vote in all elections in a calendar year
  • Receive their ballot(s) via email or fax

If you are or expect to be absent from the country and want to vote in an election, please inform the township clerk as soon as possible so she can work with you to ensure your right to vote.

The Federal Voting Assistance program Leave site is an excellent resource for military and overseas voters.

The Federal Post Card Application Leave site may be used to register & apply to vote at once. If using these forms, please be sure to check that all necessary information is complete so that your ballot can be sent in a timely manner.

How do I know my application or ballot has been received?

All military or overseas voters may check the status of an application or submitted ballot through the Michigan Voter Information Center Leave site. Please note: All info entered is confidential and the site is securely encrypted.


How do I run for a local office?

You must contact the township clerk, via email ( or phone (906-343-6535) so you can arrange a time to pick up the necessary petition and affidavit of identity. You need to return these forms to the township clerk for filing.

What does a township official do?

The Michigan Townships Association (MTA) has a summary of the duties Leave site of elected officials, as well as other resources on their site. Each member has responsibilities assigned by state law Leave site.

Election Forms & Information