Campus organizations working to help students register to vote

Jeff Smith/Staff Photographer St. Louis senior Kevin Taylor helps instruct a student on how to fill out a form as Manchester freshman Brent Schriber registers to vote Thursday outside of Fresh Food on Campus. Volunteers and members of the College Democrats set up voting registration tables throughout campus with a goal of registering 1000 students.

(This story was updated Aug. 28 at 4 p.m.)

As the November midterm elections approach, political organizations are on college campuses registering students to vote. 

During Main Stage last weekend, an event that introduces new students to all the clubs and organizations on campus at once, College Democrats President Sam McNerney said their table registered just less than 400 students to vote.

“The biggest problem is just getting people out to vote,” he said. “College students tend not to vote, not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t have the tools to vote.”

McNerney said the group will have a table set up twice a week, one day in the Park Library walkway and another in the University Center, all the way up to the November election registering students to vote.

Central Michigan Life was unable to reach College Republicans to ask what they have been doing to prepare for the upcoming election. The group will have Michigan Rep. Kevin Cotter (R- 99th district) available to answer questions at their first meeting of the semester at 8 p.m., Wednesday in Anspach 169.

A bipartisan candidate showcase has been organized by College Democrats set for Sept. 22 in the UC Rotunda from 6-9 p.m.

So far, 13 candidates on the November ballot have stated they will attend the showcase, many of which are democrats.

McNerney said the group sent invitations to democratic candidates to attend the showcase, but candidates from other parties are welcome to come and set up a table as well.

On Sept. 10, the CMU student forum Speak Up Speak Out will hold an open discussion on the power of the vote from 7-9 p.m. in the Park Library Auditorium.

Registering to vote is a five-step process in Michigan:

Step 1. Verify the applicant is eligible to register. To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old by Election Day, a Michigan resident and a resident of the city or township where the applicant is registering at.

Step 2. Fill out an application at a Secretary of State branch office, a county clerk’s office, voter registration drives or online at

Step 3. Submit application. Applicants registering for the first time will need to mail in a photocopy of a photo ID or a utility bill if mailing in application. Do not mail original documents.

Step 4. Clerk processes the application and mails registration card to the new voter.

Step 5. Go out and vote.