KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Nearly 7.5 million Michigan residents are registered to vote, the highest number ever for a presidential election, according to data from the state secretary of state’s office.
More than 120,500 people have been added to the voter registration rolls since July, MLive (http://bit.ly/2dVYj40 ) reported. The deadline to register to vote in Michigan was Oct. 11.
Census data from 2015 estimates Michigan has a little more than 7.7 million residents age 18 and older.
Tim Snow, Kalamazoo County Clerk, said it was difficult to estimate an attendance for this election, more so than any other election he could remember.
The latest numbers indicate an increase of more than 26,500 voters than in 2012 and nearly 10,500 more than in 2008, which previously held the registration record.
Some of the biggest registration surges came from counties with a large college-age population, including Washtenaw, Ingham, Isabella, Marquette, Houghton and Kalamazoo counties.
Ed Golembiewski, who oversees elections for the Washtenaw County Clerk’s Office, said he doesn’t find the surges surprising and disagreed with talks of millennials not being engaged in the election.
“I expect voter turnout to be high, especially in Washtenaw County,” he said. “I certainly think the students at University of Michigan will be turning out.”
According to Snow, absentee balloting increased 50 percent in the August 2016 primary compared with the August 2012 primary.
Some election clerks are encouraging absentee balloting this year to reduce lines on Election Day.
Michigan allows absentee ballots for people who are disabled, will be out of town on the day of the election and for people who are 60 years and older.
Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo