Before the monthly IGR meeting, Promote the Vote held a Voter Registration 101 training.
“Promote the Vote is a broad coalition striving to make voting more accessible for all eligible Michiganders through a ballot initiative to amend the Michigan Constitution to provide certain voting rights. By making voting more accessible and secure, our democracy will better serve all Americans and our laws will better reflect the will of the people. Everyone — Republicans, Democrats and Independents — deserves to have their vote secure and counted.”
For the training, we all received a copy of the State of Michigan Voter Registration Application and then discussed any questions that came up as we reviewed it.
Most of the questions were about absentee ballots and signing up college students. Some points that came up:
- Must be 17 ½ to register and be 18 by election day.
- Must be registered 30 days before the election.
- A person who registers to vote by mail must vote in person in the first election in which he or she participates. The restriction does not apply to overseas voters, voters who are disabled or voters who are 60 years of age or older.
- College students who vote in the primary first can use an absentee ballot for the general election.
- Michigan residents confined in jail or prison who are awaiting arraignment or trial are eligible to vote. However, residents who are serving a sentence in jail or prison after conviction cannot vote during the period of confinement.
If you can work to register voters, go to https://promotethevotemi.com/#pitch. They have all the info you need, forms to download, and even where they are planning to register voters. Farmers markets and community events draw a lot of people and are good places to check out.
To check if you are registered to vote, go to www.Michigan.gov/vote.
You can view a sample ballot at https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/MVIC/SelectPublicBallot.aspx
Tip on dealing with voter apathy. If you have someone who wants to let you know (in detail) exactly why they aren’t voting, chances are they name people they just won’t vote for. Try to direct them away from people and towards issues that they can agree on.