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Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist kicks off MI first vote tour

(CBS DETROIT) - Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist kicked off the MI First Vote Tour, a three-stop tour to register new voters, clear up misconceptions and apprehensions about voting, and ensure young voters have everything they need for a successful first vote. 

Gilchrist visited the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and took part in a roundtable to discuss the importance of civic participation and what students can expect when they vote. 

He was joined by Jalen Rose and Civic 360, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to boosting civic participation in Michigan.

"As young Michiganders head to the ballot box for the first time this fall, it is critical to ensure they have everything they need to vote," said Gilchrist. "That is why I am excited to announce the MI First Vote Tour, an initiative to educate young voters on how to get registered and vote. Michigan's future belongs to our young voters, and Governor Whitmer and I are committed to supporting them."

"Your vote counts as your voice and it is paramount to be represented in your local, state and presidential elections," said Rose. "Failure to vote can no longer be an option."

"Democracy For All, a program of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and Civic360 are excited for this great opportunity to partner with Jalen Rose Leadership Academy to empower our youth with voter education/registration," said Olu Jabari, state director of Civic 360-Democracy for All. "The voice of our youth is critical to building a strong democracy."

The Tufts University Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) found in a study that 50% of eligible voters aged 18-29 cast a ballot in the 2020 election, compared to only 39% of eligible youth voters in 2016. 

CIRCLE also estimated that 46% of new voters – young people ages 18-19 – voted in 2020.

Often, eligible young people choose not to vote due to apathy, a lack of understanding about how to get registered or how to vote, or lack of engagement by government or voter registration efforts. 

The MI First Vote tour will travel to Michigan high schools to ensure young voters have everything they need for a successful first vote.

The MI First Vote tour will continue with stops in Southfield and River Rouge. 

You can find more information on how to vote here

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