Clerk receives hundreds of last-minute voter applications from GVSU students

ALLENDALE, MICH. - Hundreds of voter applications have poured into the Allendale Township clerk's office during the past 24 hours -- the clerk says most of them are from Grand Valley State University students.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, there also was an effort on campus to get more students registered on the last day to do so.

One way to support a candidate is through political signs, like the Trump signs found in some Allendale neighborhoods. However, a group of GVSU students were supporting the Clinton campaign in a different way -- registering voters. 

"We've been getting people as they pass by and making sure they know today's the last day to register," says Andrea Haverdink, a GVSU student and a fellow for the Clinton campaign in Grand Rapids. 

More: Michigan voter registration deadline is Tuesday

"I feel great; I feel like I can actually vote this time," says Azaila Powell, a GVSU student who just registered to vote.

There have been other non-partisan efforts on campus involving student organizations. GVSU leaders say those have helped register more than 1,000 students.

"Traditionally, younger voters are underrepresented," said Melissa Baker-Boosamra, the associate director of Student Life at GVSU. "This is a critical election in our nation's history, and students know it."

Many of the applications land on the Allendale Township Clerk's desk.

"I got this stack of at least 300, I haven't counted them -- yesterday and we have today yet to go through, so it's an extremely busy time," Allendale Township clerk Laurie Richards said. "It's a good thing though, I'm glad to see students getting involved."

You also might have noticed what appears to be fewer political signs this election. We went through several neighborhoods in Allendale just to find a group of political signs in one location.  

"There aren't many out yet," Richards said.

However, Richards says that is not an indication of voter interest.

"I think this is a very big election and there's a lot of interest," Richards said.

GVSU leaders say Clinton's campaign has been more active than Trump's in recruiting voters on campus. However, we found more Trump than Clinton signs in the nearby neighborhoods we visited, so time will tell how the election plays out. 

We also reached out to the Ottawa County Clerk for voter registration numbers.

That office has processed more than 1,200 applications since Oct. 1 and he expected several hundred more by the end of Tuesday. 

(© 2016 WZZM)


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