09/12/2012 12:55 pm ET Updated Sep 12, 2012

Michigan Makes It Easier For College Students To Register To Vote

It's going to be a little easier for college students in Michigan to register to vote this fall.

The Michigan Secretary of State's office is planning to bring a registration truck to college campuses around the state in what it's calling the "ExpressSOS" Voter Registration Drive. It will stop at 20 colleges and community centers ahead of the Oct. 9 deadline for voter registration.

They're also doing a few other things to encourage voter registration:
  • A postcard is sent to every 18-year-old on his/her birthday reminding each to register to vote.
  • On-the-spot voter registration for newly sworn citizens occurs at naturalization ceremonies across the state.
  • Branch office customers who come in for personal ID or driver's licenses are asked if they want to register to vote, provided they are U.S. citizens. (A comparison of census data and Secretary of State numbers indicate less than half a percent of Michigan residents do not have a state-issued ID.)

Students are also planning Rock the Vote events in conjunction with the registration tour.

The Flint Journal reports:

This week [the tour] will include stops at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw County's Kochville Township, Michigan State University in East Lansing and the stop in Flint.

Fred Woodhams, the communications manager for the Michigan Secretary of State, said that college-aged voters will have a large impact on this presidential election, just as the group did for the 2008, but it's the goal of the department just to make sure the student's voices are heard.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Gov. Rick Synder, both Republicans, are acting in contrast with what critics consider voter suppression efforts mostly lead by GOP lawmakers in other states. Synder rejected a voter ID law earlier this year.

Voter ID laws are expected to disenfranchise young people and minorities.

Other states like Nevada, New York and Oregon offer online voter registration, and eight states offer same-day voter registration.



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