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As midterm elections draw closer, ASMSU works to register students

September 20, 2018
<p>"I Voted" stickers available at Murphy Elementary School on Aug. 7, 2018.</p>

"I Voted" stickers available at Murphy Elementary School on Aug. 7, 2018.

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

With midterm elections coming up, many different student groups are trying to get as many students registered to vote as possible. The Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, is investing in different initiatives to reach that goal.

Vice President of Governmental Affairs Eli Pales plans and promotes events where people can register to vote. 

One of the voter registration events is at the next home football game Sept. 29 against Central Michigan University. The student government of CMU will assist MSU in registering students to vote in front of Spartan Stadium.

Pales is also assisted by other people inside ASMSU’s Office of the President. Mario Kakos, Vice President for Internal Administration, works with each year’s Class Council. 

“My department is assisting in this way by informing the General Assembly and four Class Councils about registration dates as well as inviting speakers from the Governmental Affairs department,” Kakos said via email.

All of the departments within ASMSU work together on yearly initiatives, including voter registration.

“We have a direct line to communicate with a lot of them since we interface with them in person,” said Makenzie Bosworth, Vice President for Student Allocations. “We work with (Governmental Affairs Department) and whoever else needs it to get them that information (about voter registration).”

Voter turnout for the Michigan primary elections broke records and ASMSU hopes to continue a trend of high voter turnout.

In the August primary, more than 150 people voted at the on campus precincts, according to a previous State News article. 

Vice President for Finance and Operations Dan Iancio said he partners heavily with Pales’ office to draw larger turnout.

“Let’s get that big turnout no matter how anybody really votes,” Iancio said. “That’s not really important, it’s just that we get people out to vote, especially the students. We want to get people engaged, get excited about the election.”

The next step is helping students find precincts and making the voting process more accessible. 

Some students are in need of absentee ballots, do not have a ride to certain precincts or are not sure which precincts they are supposed to go to. ASMSU President Katherine “Cookie” Rifiotis mentioned how she plans on looking at voter registration going forward.

“I’m very knowledgeable about how to go about things in terms of getting people registered to vote in the dorms on campus, off campus,” Rifiotis said. “I can always help (Pales) out with the outreach.”

A large poster which shows all the precincts on campus was created by ASMSU, Rifiotis said. This will help students because just registering to vote is not enough. Students need to go the polls and cast their ballot on election days.

ASMSU partnered with Residence Education and Housing Services and other organizations to create the website msuvote.msu.edu

“We are calling on Spartans far and wide to register to vote this election season, to educate themselves on the issues that will affect them and their communities and participate in local, state, and federal elections,” the website says.

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