State Rep. Ann Bollin praised the recommendations for improving voter engagement among young people and college students announced this week by the Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force.
Bollin, who previously served 16 years as Brighton Township Clerk, said she has already introduced a plan to implement one of the recommendations: Establishing a permanent absent voter ballot application list. Some of the panel’s other recommendations include increasing voter education, providing on-campus election resources for college students and other reforms to make it more convenient to request and return an absentee ballot.
The task force includes 32 students from 23 colleges, community colleges and universities throughout Michigan with hometowns across the state.
“As a former township clerk, I understand just how important it is to reach out and engage all voters,” Bollin said. “The young people on this task force did a terrific job of identifying the barriers that keep other students from participating in our elections, and I agree with many of the solutions they have suggested.”
Bollin’s plan, House Bill 5123, would streamline the absentee voting process by requiring every municipality to establish a permanent absent voter list. Voters on the list would automatically be mailed an application before each election. In addition to helping voters, these lists will give local clerks a better idea of the number of absentee voters to prepare for each election.
The plan remains under consideration in the House Elections and Ethics Committee.