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Student Voting Rights Settlement Reached

Jun 07, 2019

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought on behalf of student voting groups last year. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the steps her office will take to help promote participation among college-age voters, resolving the lawsuit. The groups filed a lawsuit against the previous secretary of state in August 2018, challenging the requirement that a Michigan voter with a Michigan driver’s license have the same address for both registration and licensing, and another requirement that first-time voters must vote in person if they registered through the mail or a third party registration drive.

The Department of State and the Bureau of Elections will be rolling out the broad voter engagement initiative prior to the 2020 election. The initial steps announced this week are focused on student and college-age voters and include:

    • Creating a website dedicated to providing voting information and tools for college students and first-time voters and promoting the resource on social media.
    • Encouraging local clerks in communities with colleges and universities to engage in student outreach through voter registration drives and other activities.
    • Updating department manuals and training materials to reflect a new emphasis on college student voters.
    • Sending letters each September to the Michigan Association of State Universities and non-member colleges and universities with helpful information for students.
    • Deploying the Secretary of State’s Mobile Office, as in past years but with greater frequency, to provide opportunities for voter registration on college and university campuses and encouraging friendly competition among institutions related to voter registration efforts.

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