Michigan nears 19,000 voter registrations on same day, shattering record
Update: The Secretary of State reported there were 24,308 registrations as of 6:30 p.m. Detroit reported over 1,000, Ann Arbor with over 600 and Grand Rapids with over 400.
Michigan surpassed its record for voter registration on the same day, and there is still time on election day to keep increasing the number.
The secretary of state’s office said there had been 24,308 registrations statewide as of 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. This surpassed the record of around 13,000 in the presidential primary in March.
Most of the recordings were in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Secretary of State spokesman Jake Rollow said. Detroit had over 1,000 registrations in the early evening update, while Ann Arbor had over 600 and Grand Rapids had over 400.
Lansing was the second highest at 236 in the 4:30 p.m. update, with Kalamazoo in fifth place at 225. The next fifteen jurisdictions were in the 200 entry range, said the spokesperson for the secretary of State Tracy Wimmer in the 4:30 p.m. update.
March was the first time voters could register on election day, the previous deadline was 30 days before an election. College-aged voters, especially in Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and East Lansing, have benefited from the new law and formed long lines at local clerks’ offices.
If November 3 looks like March, there will be a surge in registrations before the polls close at 8 p.m., Rollow said. That could mean numbers as high as 25,000 or even 30,000, he said.
“It’s really doable,” Rollow told reporters on a 5 p.m. media call. “One of the good things is that the clerks’ offices have grown and they have more satellite offices in place after the experience they had in March. They tried to hire more staff, treat these people, register them and get them to vote by mail.
Wimmer clarified that this increase generally evolves with the higher overall turnout the Secretary of State sees on election day.
In 2018, voters passed Proposition 3, which created a number of new laws to make it easier to vote in the state. These included automatic voter registration when people renew their licenses and no reason to vote by mail. The postal ballot also showed that it is already having a big impact on this year’s elections, with the secretary of state reporting 3.2 million postal ballots so far.
Polling stations are open until 8 p.m. Voters who line up before 8 p.m. can vote.
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