EMU student leads effort to increase student voter participation in primary elections
YPSILANTI, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - An Eastern Michigan University student is leading an effort to increase student voter participation in Michigan's primary election.
Naomi Barbour, a junior at EMU is focused on implementing on-campus early voting, voter registration at community early voting sites, and creating an opportunity for out-of-state students to register online.
Just recently, Governor Gretchen Whitmer approved a bill to change the date of the primary election calendar for the 2024 election. This could impact student voting because the election will now happen when many Michigan colleges are closed for spring break.
Barbour, who's majoring in political science, worked on a task force to present alternate election dates for the Michigan legislation to consider.
"Working together with the [Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force] and Campus Vote Project (CVP), we wrote a letter to the legislature advocating for the date change, but that ended up being not successful," Barbour said. "So, from there, we pivoted to more of a legislative approach on how we can work with the legislature to increase other voter initiatives for students across Michigan."
According to Barbour, since the date isn't changing, she's now advocating for students to vote early while also encouraging students to pay attention to dates related to the election.
The state's presidential primary will now happen the fourth week of February, becoming a part of a new group of states slated to lead off the Democratic Party's presidential primary starting next year.
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