This Monday, Oct. 4, is the last day to
register to vote in the presidential election. All students who are
eligible to vote, both Michigan and out-of-state residents, may
register to vote in Ann Arbor. In this crucial election, everyone
has a stake in the results. To that end, it is important that all
individuals participate and that all related institutions —
the City of Ann Arbor, the State of Michigan, the University
— facilitate the democratic process to the fullest of their
capabilities.

Beth Dykstra

Inevitably, many students, even those determined to vote in
Michigan, ran into confusion this fall because there were no clear
instructions concerning how to register. The presence of student
groups on campus encouraging potential voters to register is
helpful to the democratic process. In addition, the e-mail sent out
yesterday by University President Mary Sue Coleman and Vice
President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper was a laudable
effort on behalf of the administration to make voting resources
available to students.

As the election nears, the University should continue to tap
into its vast communications power to explain voting laws and
processes in Michigan and encourage all students and faculty to
vote. The University, always in need of voter support, has 40,000
of its greatest allies just an informational e-mail’s
distance away. It need only facilitate voter participation to reap
its benefits.

Students who have not registered to vote in Ann Arbor but would
like to should visit the city clerk’s office on the second
floor of City Hall, 100 N. Fifth St. Claims that a person must
change his driver’s license to register to vote in Michigan
are simply untrue. Out-of-state students may register in Ann Arbor
without any change to their driver’s license; in-state
students will receive a sticker indicating a change in county.

Those students who have registered in Michigan but who have not
received documentation about their registration should visit
href=”www.publius.org”>www.publius.org. That website, run as a
service of the Michigan secretary of state, searches by name and
city and issues a report on the status of a voter’s
registration. It also answers other questions about registration
and ways of voting, and offers tips for students. If students
discover a problem with their registration, there is still time to
clear it up. The necessary resources to do so are available.

Students may still order absentee ballots. In Michigan, the
deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is 2 p.m. on the
Saturday before the election. Ballots must be returned to the city
or township clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Despite this late time
frame, students should take into account the lags caused by mail
transmission and act quickly.

All students should be able to register and vote this season
without any unnecessary hassles. Available informational resources
answer many questions about the steps and guidelines concerning
voter registration. The deadline is approaching, but there is still
time to step up and participate.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *