How and why to vote in Michigan

Natalie Kelley, Reporter

As midterm elections come around, the importance of using your voice to create change in the community you live in becomes more prominent. Registering to vote is a simple 5-step process in the state of Michigan. 

First, you have to verify that you are eligible. In order to be eligible to vote you must be 17.5 years old (18 at the time of voting), be a citizen of the United States, and be a resident of Michigan when you register. You must also be a current resident in the city or township in which you are voting for at least 30 days and also can not be serving a current sentence in jail or prison ( 

After you are verified as eligible, you need to fill out and submit a simple application. You can find this application online, where you can print it out or fill it out digitally. If you print out your application and hand-deliver your application, you will need no other documents. However, if you mail in your application, always send photocopies of your driver’s license or personal ID card OR photocopy of a government document containing your name and address (paycheck stub, utility bill, or blank document). Never send in original copies of these documents (

Once you send in your application, a city/township clerk will process your application. Once they finish processing your application they will send you a voter registration card. Keep this card in your wallet or purse so you know where to cast your ballot (

If you have run into no issues and followed all these steps, then you are officially registered! When going to cast your vote, always bring some sort of photo verification. If you don’t have an acceptable photo ID, you can vote by signing an affidavit. The affidavit can be used by 1) voters who don’t have acceptable photo ID or 2) voters who have photo ID – but didn’t bring it to the polls (

As of the 2020 election, voter turnout was highest among those ages 65 to 74 at 76.0%, while the percentage was lowest among those ages 18 to 24 at 51.4%. Young people need to vote in order to spark change. Voting is one of the only ways that young people get to have a say in how the government works – so take advantage of this opportunity.