Frequently Asked Questions
CAN I REGISTER TO VOTE IN EAST LANSING EVEN THOUGH I AM FROM ANOTHER CITY IN MICHIGAN?
Yes you can! If you do plan to register to vote in East Lansing, you will receive a sticker with your East Lansing address, to affix to the back of your current driver’s license. You will also receive a voter ID card from the East Lansing Office of the City Clerk.
CAN I REGISTER TO VOTE IN EAST LANSING EVEN THOUGH I AM FROM ANOTHER STATE? IF SO, DO I HAVE TO DO ANYTHING SPECIAL ON ELECTION DAY?
Absolutely. If you wish to register to vote in East Lansing as an out-of-state student, you may do so by presenting a current out-of-state driver’s license or MSU student ID. On Election Day, you can use your current driver’s license or your MSU student ID.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE ME TO RECEIVE MY VOTER REGISTRATION CARD AFTER REGISTERING?
Your voter ID should arrive within a few weeks of registering. You can also verify that you are registered by visiting www.michigan.gov/vote.
CAN I VOTE ABSENTEE IF IT’S MY FIRST ELECTION? IF SO, DO I HAVE TO PICK UP THE ABSENTEE BALLOT OR CAN A FAMILY MEMBER FOR ME?
Yes, you can vote absentee even if you are a first time voter. If you registered in person with the clerk of the jurisdiction in which you plan to vote OR at any Secretary of State (SOS) Branch office, you have satisfied the ID requirement and are automatically eligible to vote absentee. If you registered by mail or with anyone other than the local clerk or SOS, you can still obtain an Absentee Ballot by appearing in person at the office of the clerk of the jurisdiction in which you are registered. Keep in mind that Absentee Ballots are available more than a month in advance of the election and that local clerks offices must be open the Saturday prior to the election for absentee voting. Lastly, the law allows for a family member to obtain the Application for an Absentee Ballot, however, the ballot must be mailed or handed directly to you as the voter.
WHERE DO I GO TO VOTE ON ELECTION DAY IF I REGISTERED IN EAST LANSING?
Your voter ID card will tell you where your polling location is. You can also visit www.michigan.gov/vote. This site will verify your polling location, along with providing a map. You can even preview your ballot!
DO I HAVE TO SHOW A PHOTO ID ON ELECTION DAY?
Michigan law requires voters to present photo ID on Election Day. There a several specific types of ID and most students should either have a current in-state or out-of-state Driver’s license, state ID card or student ID. Voters will be asked to show ID and to complete an Application to Vote. The ID does not have to show the voter’s residential address. The ID is for photo verification only!
- If voter states they have photo ID but did not bring it to the polls or if the voter states they do not have one of the acceptable forms of photo identification, the voter can still vote by signing the “Affidavit of Voter Not in Possession of Picture Identification” located on the back of the Application to Vote.
- A voter who does not possess photo identification and refuses to sign the affidavit cannot vote will be referred to the clerk.
- A voter who claims to have photo identification but refuses to show it cannot vote and will be referred to the clerk.
IF I REGISTER TO VOTE IN EAST LANSING, WILL MY AUTO INSURANCE OR STUDENT AID BE AFFECTED IN ANY WAY?
No, voter registration does not impact auto insurance or student aid.
IF I ALREADY REGISTERED FOR THIS ELECTION AT MY HOMETOWN, CAN I REREGISTER IN EAST LANSING?
Yes you can. You can change your address online at www.michigan.gov/vote or you can change your address at the SOS or the East Lansing Office of the City Clerk. In order to vote in East Lansing at the November General Election, you must change your address by October 7 which is the voter registration deadline for this election.
THE ADDRESS ON MY VOTER REGISTRATION CARD MUST MATCH THE VOTER REGISTRATION ON MY DRIVER’S LICENSE, DOES THIS MEAN IF I REGISTER IN EAST LANSING I WILL HAVE TO GET A NEW DRIVER’S LICENSE?
Fortunately, it is not necessary to obtain a new license. If you register to vote by mail or with the East Lansing Office of the City Clerk, the SOS receives a notification and will send you a sticker with your East Lansing address, to affix to the back of your Driver’s license.
IF I LIVE IN A RESIDENCE HALL, DO I HAVE TO PUT THE WING AND THE NUMBER OF MY ROOM?
Yes you do. A complete address is required so that you can be assigned to the correct polling location on campus. It is also necessary so that you can be mailed a voter ID and address sticker for your Driver’s license.
MSUVote and the B1G Ten Voting Challenge
What is the B1G Ten Voting Challenge?
In late 2017, the University of Michigan’s President Mark Schlissel issued a challenge to the presidents of all 14 B1G TEN schools. He asked every school to make a concerted effort to raise the number of registered student voters and to get these voters to the polls. At the end of the year, two winners will be honored: the school with the greatest overall turnout in 2018 and the school with the greatest growth in turnout between 2014 and 2018. The winners will be selected based on numbers collected by the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) at Tufts University. MSU signed on to the challenge immediately after it was issued. MSUvote is spearheading the effort.
What types of messages are to be conveyed?
Voting is a fundamental example of civic engagement. Students are a big part of democracy in action and should always be encouraged to exercise their right to vote.
Getting to Election Day takes some level of commitment and planning for any voter. There are three key steps to this process:
· Get Registered
· Get Educated on Issues & Candidates
· Actually Vote
Many students get registered, but they don’t actually show up to vote. Their class schedules might get in the way or perhaps they never registered in the town where they are living. They might not feel educated about candidates. Students need to have a game plan for Election Day!
Does MSUvote have connections to other organizations nationwide?
Absolutely. MSU was designated a Voter Friendly Campus beginning in 2016. We partner with Campus Election Engagement Project, The Campus Vote Project, The League of Women Voters and are part of the 1,000 member schools of The Institute for Democracy and Higher Education.
Do you have an online or social media presence?
What types of activities does MSUvote promote or sponsor?
· Voter registration drives
· Connecting local clerks to student organizations in order to increase registration
· Registering students at orientation
· Sponsor the Secretary of State’s Mobile Unit on-campus
· Hosting, sponsoring or supporting debate watch activities, candidate and issue forums
· Encouraging turnout on Election Day and celebrating student voters through events.
Do local students vote in East Lansing only?
Local students vote in many places. On campus students will vote at one of 4 on-campus precincts. Many off campus students will vote in East Lansing, Meridian Township, Lansing and Bath Township. Students are encouraged to check the location of their precinct at the Secretary of State’s Office.