East Lansing makes voting more accessible for MSU Students

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One of the voting signs at Michigan State’s library entrance. For the first time in school history, East Lansing will provide a rotating satellite office on Michigan State’s campus until Election Day.

For the first time in Michigan State history, the city of East Lansing will provide a rotating satellite office on campus for MSU’s students.

In recent years, satellite offices have become common, but voting on MSU’s campus has an update in 2022. “This is the first year we’ve done a rotating satellite office,” said poll worker Amy Gordon.

Gordon estimated that the office is getting 10-12 ballots a day so far, but as Election Day gets closer, she expects to see an increase. 

“We were hoping to have more students come in and vote, but it is picking up,” Gordon said.

“I think the closer we get to the election, more students are realizing they need to update their voter registration.”

Amy Gordon

After starting at the MSU Student Services Building, the  rotating satellite office moved to the MSU Library until Oct 21, before moving to IM Sports East from Oct. 26-28, and finishing at Brody Hall, where the office will remain from Oct. 31 until Election Day, Nov. 8. 

The rotating office coincides with one of the biggest election races in recent history, and midterms. 

Poll worker Marie Wicks said, “This is going to be a big year with midterm races, gubernatorial, secretary of state, and attorney general races.”

Wicks said students are surprised by how convenient voting is at the satellite office, and that out of state students can register to vote without a Michigan driver’s license, or state identification. “You can register to vote with your student ID. The only thing we’re looking for is your picture and your name,” Wicks said. “I think that’s been a surprise to a lot of them.” 

Additionally, Wicks said many students are taking their ballots home and researching candidates before they cast their vote, which is something they’ve encouraged. 

“People are very seldom just voting here. They’re taking their ballot with them, and we’re sure to tell them where they can drop theirs off,” she said.

Gordon and Wicks agreed they anticipate Election Day to be the busiest day. This is the second time that East Lansing has offered a satellite on campus on Election Day. 

“I think that the clerk has done a great job of wanting to make sure the students have easy access to the ballot,” said Wicks, who was once East Lansing’s city clerk herself. 

Kassidy Hollenbeck, a senior at MSU, registered to vote from the comforts of her own dorm after encountering someone on campus looking to register students. After she registered, she did some research and discovered she could vote on MSU’s campus. Hollenbeck was surprised to learn that in addition to being at the library, the satellite office would move throughout campus. 

“I didn’t know that this was on campus until I searched the My Voting information site,” Hollenbeck said after casting her vote at the library. 

“I think this is a great idea,” Hollenbeck said. “It’s pretty cool that they move around, so it’s close to everybody at least once.” 

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