Naomi Barbour, a junior at Eastern Michigan University, is leading a campaign to increase college students' participation in Michigan's voting process.
Just recently, Governor Gretchen Whitmer approved a bill to change the date of the primary election calendar for the 2024 election, which occurred while many Michigan colleges were closed for spring break. Barbour, who’s majoring in political science with a concentration in public law and judicial politics and a minor in public and non-profit administration, worked on a task force to present election dates for the Michigan legislation to consider. Currently, she’s focused on implementing on-campus early voting, voter registration at community early voting sites, and creating an opportunity for out-of-state students to register online.
“Michigan had the highest increase in young voters ages 18-24 registering to vote in 2022 when compared to 2018,” said Barbour. “Student participation in Michigan’s elections continues to increase, and it is critical the needs of this significant block of voters are considered as additional reforms related to voting and elections are advanced. Youth voter participation is crucial to the future of our democracy.”
According to Barbour, the Presidential Primary Bill efforts originated as a conversation among members of the Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force (CSATF) and Campus Vote Project (CVP), who were eager to increase young voters.