2020 elections will allow same-day registration

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Portrait of Gabrielle Hurley
Gabrielle Hurley, Michigan State University Student

Michigan residents are preparing to cast their votes in the March 10 presidential primary, the first big test of Proposal 3, in which voters can register up until Election Day.

East Lansing Chief Deputy City Clerk Brian Jackson has different ways for students and citizens to register. 

“Community groups all around campus have registration where you can fill out the form, sign it, and have it turned into a clerk’s office,” said Jackson. “If you have access to your driver’s license or state ID, and know the last four digits of your Social Security, you can use the online voter registration as well.”

The State of Michigan has created multiple methods for citizens to register until election day. However, Proposal 3 has one regulation people must follow to do so.

Jackson said that, within 15 days before the election, residents must register at their local clerk’s office. Before the 15 day period, individuals may register at the Secretary of State and local government agencies, as well. Individuals who register at the clerk’s office within those 15 days, may vote as well. If voters decide to take their ballot, it must be turned in by 8 p.m. on election night.

Michigan State University student Gabrielle Hurley said she believes more people will register. 

“Proposal 3 offers more time to people who are procrastinators,” said Hurley. “This opportunity also gives students out of state a lot of availability to be registered.” 

Ingham County Clerk Barbara Byrum agreed that busy students will realize the election is coming up, but will still have time to register. 

Byrum said, she plans for full participation by ordering the ballots and the precinct kits for every qualified voter. Byrum said the more participation, the better. 

Registration creates a busy atmosphere for clerks. 

“As election officials, we always stand ready whether it’s the city, township, or county clerk,” Byrum said. “We always stand ready to serve the people and to ensure all qualified, registered voters are afforded the opportunity to exercise their right.”