Student voter turnout in East Lansing called a “good problem”


East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– Hundreds of students turned out in East Lansing to cast their ballot in Michigan’s Primary Elections.

The entire East Lansing Clerk staff was in the building, but additional help still had to be called in. Mayor Pro Tem Aaron Stephens said he got a call just before 5 p.m.asking for assistance.

“Anybody that says you know, young people aren’t engaged, young people aren’t involved. you look at those people that were standing out there you know hours on end waiting to cast their vote,” Stephens said.

The polls closed at 8, but Stephens didn’t leave until 11 p.m., but said he was more than happy to help.

“It was definitely a huge huge turnout which is a good problem,” Stephens said.

This is the first major election since same-day registration was introduced, so the line was filled with students taking advantage of same-day registration.

“The pure volume of those numbers couldn’t necessarily be known to I think a finite degree just because this has literally never happened before. Now we have an idea and we can move forward with that,” Stephens said.

He added that most local Clerk’s offices just don’t have the resources to handle that many people registering in one day, especially near college towns.

“Our clerk staff they’re working overtime I mean they’re working day in day out all weekend all night you know to try and get everything ready for this, but you know at the end of the day they’re not gonna have the resources necessary.”

Moving forward, he encourages students to consider registering in the days leading up to election day if they want to avoid the wait and said he looks forward to working with the state to ensure that resources are allocated in the correct way, ahead of November.

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