By RAY WILBUR
Capital News Service
LANSING — When Michigan voters cast ballots Nov. 8, they’ll be lining up at voting machines that may be 15 years old in some places. County clerks and election officials say they hope for updated equipment by 2017, or at least by the time voters decide on Michigan’s new governor in 2018. But they say voters this November could face machine crashes and long wait times caused by the aging equipment. Already Michigan ranks 46th in the nation for how much time the average voter will take to cast a ballot, according to a Massachussetts Institute of Technology study.
East Lansing City Clerk Marie Wicks has a message for voters: registering for an absentee ballot is one of the easiest things you’ll do this election season. Wicks said students are consistently surprised at how simple the process is. “That’s what I’ve heard over and over and over,” she said. “Students came in and they were like, ‘I can’t believe this is so easy, I didn’t need to show a birth certificate.’ Nope. Just need to show your ID, that’s it.”
As the presidential election draws nearer, not all potential voters are feeling the political fervor others may be feeling. One Michigan State University student doesn’t intend to even register to vote, given the nation’s current political discourse. “I don’t care much for this election,” said Ryan Riger, a psychology freshman at MSU. “It’s an unfortunate crapshoot for both parties.”
Riger is an 18-year-old Bloomfield Hills native, and 2016 will mark the first presidential election he is eligible to vote for, but he remains unregistered to vote. He explains that he has no intention on changing that, if both primary candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump don’t change their current campaign paths.