Clerks register students on National Voter Registration Day

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly helps Genevieve Myers, a first-year electrical engineering student at Michigan Technological University, register to vote Tuesday.

HOUGHTON — For National Voter Registration Day Tuesday, local election officials were at Michigan Technological University to sign students up and answer their questions.

Last year’s event, held prior to the presidential election, had drawn lines of people waiting to register. But as of 1 p.m., Houghton Clerk Ann Vollrath had about 10 completed registration forms, counting ones from the main booth by the husky statue and others from satellite booths on campus.

“It’s an off year, so we don’t have as many,” she said.

Recent changes are also ensuring more people are registered. In September 2019, Michigan launched automatic voter registration for people getting or updating their driver’s license or personal ID cards. Registering to vote is the default, though people can still opt out.

Several students had also checked on their registration status, said Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly. She also directed them to the state’s online resources at michigan.gov/elections. There, they can check their registration, apply for an absentee ballot, and update their address if they’ve moved.

“At least while you’re a student, go on, set your mailing address to Tech, and go on the list,” she said. “You’ll at least get an application to vote.”

Students should also check their registration status before the election in case of any problems, Vollrath said.

Genevieve Myers, a first-year electrical engineering student, has volunteered with elections before, but had not registered. She signed up for her home county of Macomb.

“The fact that we could register in person so I can vote absentee in the next one is really nice,” she said.


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