Both parties push to register voters before deadline
GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY Mi (WPBN/WGTU) -- The deadline for registering to vote in the November election is next Tuesday, and the push is on by both major political parties to get people signed up.
"We've had a major push on voter registration at this time, particularly with an emphasis on young people," said John Snow, the chair of the Grand Traverse County Democratic Party. "Just at the college alone we've registered over 200 of the students up there."
"It's the next generation of voters, and both sides, Republicans and Democrats want to get people in the habit of voting for their candidate," said Senator Wayne Schmidt. "So you see the push, especially in the presidential years."
According to the clerk's office, this year 8,955 people registered to vote in Grand Traverse County. Of those registered, 1,370 of them are between the ages of 18 and 21.
In the 2012 election, that number was 4,233 in total and only 14 between the ages of 18 to 21.
"The candidates that are running for president evoke a lot of emotion, said Sen. Schmidt. "It's tough sometimes when you're just selling policy, but since they are such lightning figures, Donald Trump, Secretary Clinton, it causes people to want to get out and take action."
For both parties, it's important to build a base of voters while they're young, but also teach them the importance of voting in general.
"The future of the nation and the future of our party is getting millennials to vote and understanding that we have to make an effort to do it, it doesn't just automatically happen," said John Snow.
"Trying to engage that next generation in voting, getting them to register to vote, it's a tough task," said Senator Schmidt. "It's one that once you succeed and get someone and get them in the habit of voting and taking an interest in their hometown or their home state or even the country, that's a good feeling, that's a sense of accomplishment."