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College students get ready to vote

Many young adults from Northville living on college campuses in Michigan and other states are getting ready to exercise one of the fundamental rights of democracy – casting their vote during the presidential election on Nov. 8.

In order to vote, students who are U.S. citizens and are at least 18 years old by Election Day must be registered to vote. Students (and everyone else) must be registered to vote on or before Oct. 11 – that’s 30 days before the election on Nov. 8.

You can register to vote in person, at the City Clerk’s office, the County Clerk’s office, at any Secretary of State branch office or at agencies in which you receive services, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and Military recruitment centers.

If you register in person, you will be asked to show photo ID, such as your driver’s license or state identification card. If you don’t have either of those, a high school photo ID card is acceptable. If no photo ID is available, you will need to sign an affidavit attesting you are not in possession of photo ID.

Students (and everyone else) can also register to vote by mail. If you have never voted in Michigan and you register to vote by mail, you must vote in person at your first election before you can vote by absent voter ballot. Some colleges and organizations may sponsor voter registrations drives. Registering to vote at a voter registration drive is the same as a mail-in voter registration.

However, if you personally hand deliver the mail-in voter registration form to the clerk’s office or any Secretary of State branch office, that requirement is waived. The requirement to vote in person at your first election is also waived if you are 60 years or older, disabled, or eligible to vote under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

Students (and everyone else) should be aware that the address on their driver’s license has to match their voter registration. Changing one of those documents automatically changes the address on the other. Students whose scholarships or tuition are based on their state of residence should check with their college or university before deciding where to be registered to vote.

Due to a large turnout expected during this presidential election, Massa encourages anyone who is eligible to vote by absent voter ballot to do so. Students living on college campuses in Michigan and other states may also vote by absent voter ballot. You can find the form on the election section of the website.

To ensure everything is set for college students to vote by absent voter ballot after they registered by mail, they can contact Clerk Dianne Massa at to confirm this method of voting or learn about other options for Nov. 8.

Northville voters living at college in Michigan or other nearby states can also drive to Northville and vote at their assigned Northville polling location on election day.

The deadline to sign up for an absent voter ballot depends on how you register for it. To have the ballot mailed to you, you must sign up by 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. (The City Clerk’s office is open that day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) The second deadline is Monday, Nov. 7 by 4 p.m., the day before the election. On that day, you can pick up the ballot at City Hall but can’t take it outside the building for further study – it must be voted at City Hall. Voters requesting an absent voter ballot in person will need to show acceptable photo identification. If you are not in possession of a photo ID, you will need to sign an affidavit attesting to this.

“The earlier you sign up for an absent voter ballot, the more time you’ll have to study it,” Massa said.

For more information about voting, visit the Clerk’s web page.



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