GUEST COLUMN: ‘Fire Up the Vote’ with central civics
With new voting laws in Michigan and a consequential 2024 election coming up, students can participate in Fire Up the Vote from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Library Lawn to ask any questions they might have.
With the partnership of Central Votes, the League of Women Voters, Central Votes Coalition and many more, students will have the opportunity to get registered and informed.
The event takes place on National Voter Registration Day when thousands of people across the country are registering to vote.
Why does the student vote matter?
With the 2024 elections fast approaching, students have a chance to make their voices heard in determining their future.
Though youth voting saw one of the largest turnout rates ever during the 2022 midterm elections, young voters still face substantial barriers when it comes to casting a ballot.
Some of these barriers to registration and voting include young voters relocating frequently, being less likely to have a driver’s license, rarely being targeted by candidates and an unfamiliarity with government institutions.
These barriers impede the youth vote, which holds one of the largest voting coalitions in the country with well over 18 million people, according to Tufts Institute for Democracy and Higher Education.
Young voters, also, consistently have the lowest voting rate in the country compared to other generations. While 23% of people aged 18 to 29 voted in the 2022 midterm elections, these rates still fall short of those from older generations, 52%, who show up to the polls, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Getting students registered and informed while in college helps to make lifelong voters, which in turn helps the government truly be representative of the people.
New voter information
With the recent passage of Proposal 2 in Michigan, voting has become more accessible for all voters, but especially students.
The policy will allow for at least nine consecutive days of early voting beginning on the second Saturday before each election and ending on the Sunday before the election, for at least eight hours a day. The upcoming 2024 presidential election will be the first election requiring these early voting days in Michigan.
Michigan also allows for easy, online voter and absentee ballot registration. Students who are out-of-state voters should visit vote.gov to learn more about their state's voter registration requirements.
As the upcoming election approaches, students should learn more about non-partisan voting efforts and partners on campus.
Some of which include, Central Civics in the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, the Central Michigan University Voter Coalition which is run by staff, faculty and students, as well as community partners like the League of Women Voters.
Online tools like vote411.org are also a great non-partisan way for students to learn more information on upcoming elections.