Secretary of State pushes student voter registration at MSU

Posted at 8:01 PM, Oct 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-07 20:01:21-04

The Michigan Secretary of State's Mobile Voter Registration office made a stop on Michigan State University's campus Friday helping students prepare to vote.

The office parked next to MSU's iconic rock, making it easy for students to have their voice heard on election day.

"We're basically a one stop shop for any voter registration questions they might have and any other Secretary of State questions that they need to take care of today," said Robert Gatt, the Secretary of State's mobile office manager.

For students making it to a Secretary of State location is often a chore, especially with a days worth of classes and limited transportation.

"Its a really big inconvenience for a lot of college students because they don't have any vehicles or they're new to the area," said Gatt. "Having us be right here on campus for students to gets themselves registered to vote takes a step out of the normal process that they're going to have to do."

Voter registration is low among the younger generation but with 1,500 students the office has registered so far, it's working to help change that.

Joseph Kalmar is a first time voter this year and it's a responsibility he's not taking lightly.

"You spend a lot of time looking at both sides trying to make a decision and I think that's what everyone should do," said Kalmar.

The Secretary of State wasn't alone in their efforts on campus, the Student Association at MSU was working side by side.

"As we get older we're becoming part of this political process," said Katherine Rifiotis, working with the Student Association at MSU in getting students registered to vote. "We're understanding why things are happening and want things not to happen to us but we wont actually take action and be able to tailor our future so that's why it's important."

After all is said and done, the office will travel 3,000 miles in it's visit to 18 college and universities. Each mile is worth it to get students involved.

"To have them have understanding and have an excitement about registering themselves to vote, it's really awesome to see that level of excitement," said Gatt.

The mobile office hopes to register 2,000 students in total this year.

The office will make it's final stops next week at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti on October 10 and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 11.