Yesterday was #RequestYourBallotDay while this weekend is #TokTheVote and September 22nd is National Voter Registration Day! All of these election holidays have one goal in common: Engage Voters!
Trying to engage younger citizens to register to vote and participate in the electoral process is always a focus, especially when there is excitement around an election, like there typically is for presidential elections. This has been the focus of organizations like Rock The Vote, the League of Women Voters, ACLU, and others for decades. It has been particularly challenging to reach the younger population during the pandemic this year, as schools have moved online and the face-to-face voter registration drives that typically occur on campuses, around this time, are not happening.
#TokTheVote is joining the party on the video app Tik Tok, with amazing song selections, dance moves and eye-catching graphics. With an eye toward engaging Gen Z, #TokTheVote has a select group of users who have committed to encourage voter registration by posting videos about registering to vote. I have been looking for new and exciting ways to connect with the younger population in Ingham County, especially since we have Michigan State University in our area, and am pleased to be partaking in this event. Check out my most recent Tik Tok here.
Michigan has Same-Day Voter Registration as a result of the passage of Proposal 3 in 2018, however, it would be extremely helpful (to both the clerks and the voters themselves) for citizens to register to vote or update their voter registration online by October 19, 2020 if they have a Michigan driver’s license or state ID. After that date, citizens in Michigan will need to go to their local city or township clerk’s office with proof of residency to register to vote. For those who may be outside of Michigan or need to find a paper form to complete, register to vote using this form, but be aware of any voter registration deadlines that may be in effect in the area.
Whether you might just be registering or need to check your registration on the Michigan Voter Information Center website, be sure to check if you have already requested an absentee ballot for the November Election and if not, complete the request form online so that an absent voter ballot be sent to you, and you can vote safely from home. Once you have voted, you are welcome to drop your ballot back in the mail to your local clerk (giving at least two weeks for mail processing and sufficient postage to get it there) but better yet, drop it off at your clerk’s office or in their dropbox. In Michigan, ballots must be received by local clerks by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
This is going to be an extremely busy November General Election. You can assist election administrators by proactively requesting your absent voter ballot, now, for it to be mailed to you sometime around September 24, 2020.
Pro Tip: If you would like to limit the number of campaign mail, calls and texts you receive, turn your voted ballot in to your local clerk immediately. Campaigns will see that you have already voted (not how you voted, just that you have voted) and leave you alone.