Marquette sees voter registration averages more than double with new rules in effect
2018's Proposition 3 made it easier than ever for Michigan residents to register to vote.
In fact, in Marquette, more people than ever are registering.
On average between November and March, the city of Marquette sees 184 new voter registrations. Since November of 2019, the city clerk's office has had 526 new registrations.
"The clerks offices have been just fabulous in learning about the changes and then trying to deal with them,” said Pri Burnham, vice president of the League of Women Voters of Marquette County.
With this uptick in new voter registrations, the city clerk's office has had to hire additional help, and even expand their work space.
"We've added a permanent part-timer due to the changes and I don't even think that is going to cover it,” said Kris Hazeres, Marquette City Clerk. “I'm pulling in people that normally work in the precinct. I have a few that are coming into the office to help with the uptick."
Potential voters are now automatically in the registration system after updating their IDs at the Secretary of State office, and can register simply online. They can also register to vote the day of an election, just by stopping in the city clerk's office with an ID and proof of address.
"Then, once you have all those credentials we get your information, put you right in the system and allow you to vote," said Hazeres.
The city clerk's office says that while the new laws have played a factor, an increase in available information has helped raise numbers as well.
"The League of Women Voters of course has always promoted the idea of increasing and expanding the ability of people to vote,” said Burnham. “We want them to vote knowledgeably, we want them to know about the candidates and the issues."
With voting easier than ever, there is no excuse not to get to the polls or vote absentee.
"The fact that people are taking it seriously, not just registering, but actually voting, is really an encouraging sign," said Burnham.
The Michigan primary election is March 10,and the general election is November 3.