Know your vote: Student IDs valid at polls

Winter Keefer

As students gear up for what is for many the first election they will vote in, party representatives in the community want them to know their rights as citizens at the polls.

Student IDs can be used for more than just a meal swipe. It is legal in the state of Michigan to use a student ID from an accredited university as a form of identification at the polls.
Even if a voter does not have any form of identification, they can still fill out an affidavit at the polls and cast a vote.

In the 2014 General Election there were instances of students being turned away from the polls because they were trying to vote using their student IDs, said Simon Foster of the Marquette County Democratic Party.

“We have also had instances of poll workers giving out primary ballot instructions, which say that you cannot split your ballot between different parties,” Foster said. “While that is true for the primary election, in the general election you can vote any way you want.”

This means that in Michigan people can vote for both Democratic and Republican candidates without claiming party affiliation, he added.

“I feel this election will go down as one of the most important in our lifetime, and I feel everybody should take part and have their voice heard,” Foster said.

Students must know their proper precinct when going to the polls to vote, said Dan Adamini of the Marquette County Republican Party. Citizens can search their precinct on the Marquette County web page, or call their city or township clerk.

“Most problems can be avoided if you know ahead of time what you need,” Adamini said.

Adamini encourages people to make an educated decision on who they vote for and not just vote for a single party without doing further research.

“I think you should understand who you’re voting for and why you’re voting for them, and that it’s very important to take the opportunity and privilege that is provided to really make a difference to our local communities and our country,” Adamini said.

If students are turned away at the polls or have any other questions or problems concerning voting, they can call the Voter Protection Hotline
at 1-866-687-8683, or their local clerk.