Secretary of State to visit GV

GVL / Marissa Dillon

GVL / Marissa Dillon

Katherine West

Being away from home can make it difficult to do things like make a decent meal, go to sleep at a reasonable time or even register to vote. Student senate is looking to make the process just a little easier.

On Oct. 14 and Oct. 15, Grand Valley State University will temporarily be the home of the Secretary of State mobile office. The mobile office is being brought to the Allendale Campus once again through the partnership of student senate and the Community Service Learning Center. This will give students the opportunity to register to vote if they have not already and the opportunity to fulfill other tasks through the Secretary of State.

Maddie Cleghorn, student senate president, encourages students to register to vote during this opportunity.

“The office will have all of the services and information that a regular Secretary of State office has, but we are especially encouraging students to take advantage of this opportunity to register to vote,” Cleghorn said. “Having the Secretary of State mobile office on campus for a couple of days makes it easier for students to get involved in the democratic process, because it eliminates the step of having to drive to an office just to register to vote. We are hoping that lots of students take advantage of this opportunity and work to become even more engaged with the community.”

With the 2016 presidential elections quickly coming upon the American public, now is the perfect time for students to register to vote, particularly because young people have the lowest voter turnout of any voting demographic.

“I think it’s important that we bring the mobile Secretary of State office to campus because it gives more students access to reliable, convenient voter registration information and absentee ballots,” Cleghorn said. “With 2016 coming up as a such an important election year, I think it is our responsibility to make sure students have access to the tools that will help them become engaged, informed voters.”

Melissa Baker-Boosamara, associate director for student life in civic engagement and assessment, said students need a state ID to register to vote.

Jessica Baker, first year student at GVSU, is excited for the opportunity to register to vote and be able to participate in upcoming elections.

“I think it’s great that there will be an opportunity to register to vote right on campus,” Baker said. “I think it will definitely encourage people to register to vote since it will be so convenient.”

The requirements for registering to vote in the state of Michigan are that one must be a citizen of the U.S., be at least 18 years old by the date of the election day, a resident of Michigan and a resident of the city or township where they are applying to register to vote.

For those who are already registered to vote but are not going to be home on election day, an absentee ballot is required in order to play your part in the election process. Details on the process of requesting an absentee ballot and submitting it will be available at the Secretary of State mobile office on campus this week.

The Secretary of State mobile office will be located outside of Au Sable Hall. They will be on campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Students who are planning to register to vote must remember to bring their state ID with them to the mobile office. They may stop by any time during the designated time frame and should plan accordingly to leave themselves an adequate amount of time to fill out the required paperwork.