Voter registration up 10,000 from 2012 election

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Michigan will have more eligible voters in the Nov. 8 election than were registered to cast ballots four years ago.

After Tuesday’s deadline to register, Michigan’s voter registration rolls stood at 7,464,700, an increase of 10,147 voters from the 2012 presidential election, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

The registration numbers are still about 6,000 fewer voters than were registered to vote in the 2008, the high water mark for the state’s voter rolls.

The final registration number is expected to slightly increase over the next week as local election clerks add voters who mailed registration cards before Tuesday’s deadline, said Fred Woodhams, spokesman for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

Some of the fluctuation in voter registration numbers is due to efforts Johnson has made since 2011 to scrub the voter registration rolls of voters who have died or moved to another state.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign made a big push in recent weeks to register more voters, deploying politicians, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, actors and actresses to college campuses and other locations to attend voter registration drives.

Clinton held a campaign rally in Monday in Detroit that centered around Tuesday’s registration deadline.

Republicans did not devote a lot of time and effort to registering new voters this year because nearly 98 percent of the voting age population is already registered, said Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Michigan GOP.

With voter registration finished, the two major political parties will begin focusing on getting voters to the polls on Election Day and making sure absentee voters return their ballots by mail.

As of Wednesday, 876,714 ballots had been sent to absentee voters and 110,950 returned, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

(517) 371-3661

Twitter: @ChadLivengood