What Does Record-High Voter Registration Mean For The Election In Michigan?

Jake Neher/WDET

More Michiganders are registered to vote in this election than any in history.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, about 97 percent of all Michigan residents who are eligible to vote are registered.

More than 120,000 people have added their names to the voter rolls since July. And areas of the state with large college-age populations showed some of the biggest increases in voter registration. That’s despite the fact that the major party candidates for president have the highest unfavorable ratings ever.

What could this mean for the results of the election here in Michigan on November 8th? And what does it say about the importance of this election?

Matt Grossmann is the director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University. He joins Detroit Today to shed some light on those questions.

Despite record-high voter registration numbers, Grossmann still expects overall turnout to be a bit lower this year compared to 2008 and 2012.

It’s important to remember that 2008 and 2012 were sort of high-turnout elections, historically, so I think we’re going to go back to the norm of a somewhat lower turnout in this election,” he says.

But he does say the record-high number of registered voters does indicate that the major political parties, particularly the Democrats, have been doing a good job with their organizing efforts this year.

To hear the full conversation, click on the audio player above.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

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