Tuesday, October 11th, was the voter registration deadline for the state of Michigan. As of October 13th according to the Michigan Secretary of State a total of 7,481,074 people have registered to vote.
Since July over 120,000 people have registered to vote. Before October, the registration rate was lower than that of 2008 and 2012. 2008 previously held the record for voter registration. Both years had high turn out rates.
The outpour, unsurprisingly, came from counties highly populated with college students. The list included Washtenaw County, home of the UMich Wolverines, and Ingham County where Michigan State University resides. Expect to see many college students hitting the polls.
Many are predicting there to be high voter turn out, but others are stumped. In august at the county clerks conference, “the consensus was that (turnout) was anybody’s guess,” Kalamazoo County Clerk Tim Snow said. “This one is much harder to predict than any other in recent memory.”
One thing is certain; many people in Michigan will be making use of absentee ballots this year. Michigan voters are able to use an absentee ballot if they are disabled, out of town, or older than 60. The last factor is rather important. About 30% of the voting population in Michigan is part of the baby boomer generation.
From primary elections in august 2012 to primary elections august 2016, there had been a 50% increase in the use of absentee ballots.
This year, The Supreme court refused to hear an appeal to ban straight ticket voting in the state. The courts ruled that it will still be an option on the ballot. This may aid confusion on Election Day, but it is unclear if this will affect turn out rate