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Voter registration effort at NMU absolutely correct

As we approach the end of February, Northern Michigan University students are putting their civic hats on by offering tables around campus to help get as many students as possible registered to vote as part of a state-wide competition.

Associated Students of NMU is participating in the Voter Friendly Campus project from now until Feb. 24 to help institutions develop plans to facilitate the electoral involvement of university administrators, faculty and student organizations. NMU is joining other Michigan universities to see which university can register the highest percentage of students to vote.

NMU multimedia journalism professor Dwight Brady signed on as a faculty representative and said this is a great way for young voters to have their voices heard.

“The great thing about the Voter Friendly Campus project, from what I can see, is that it’s completely nonpartisan. The key here is to get students to participate. It’s participation, not indoctrination, so that’s really important,” Brady said. “Again, (the) chances that a student being civically engaged the rest of their lives is much greater if they get involved now when they’re young. So that’s another real plus to this and I do hope they get involved. And I’m really happy to see the enthusiasm of the students at NMU taking on this challenge.”

Student Emma Drever, ASNMU’s chair of assembly, said she wanted to take on hosting these tables as a way to get as many students to register as possible and this is one way of “testing the waters” before the general election.

This initiative is a way to have people’s personal voices heard, Drever said, adding that she encourages all students to sign up to vote.

“It’s your civic duty; it’s your duty as an American citizen to put people in place that will dictate how your life goes financially, economically, in terms of public welfare as well,” Drever said. “A lot of local politicians don’t really do anything with foreign affairs but if you have opinions about economics or public welfare, you should be able to voice those through whom you’re putting in office. Likewise, if you think your people are doing a good job, you should be able to tell them that by keeping them there.”

“We have a very unique consciousness about us; there’s a lot of people on campus who are really committed to sustainability, so put politicians in place that agree with you and will commit to saving the planet. Or (those who) will lower your tuition rates, if that’s your prerogative. You should have opinions about these things, because they affect you. So have opinions about them and voice them through your vote,” Drever said.

The primary election deadline to register to vote is Feb. 24 with the Michigan primary election taking place on March 10.

Regardless of what side of the aisle you align yourself with, your voice should be heard, and we are glad to see NMU taking action to get its students involved.

We should all do our part to be involved in the process — after all, we are empowering others by helping to give them a voice, and with that voice, we hold our representatives accountable together.

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