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New campaign will educate citizens, especially first-time voters, how to vote

Kari Sullivan

A voting education group has  launched a new initiative in collaboration with with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.The statewide non-partisan initiative will be run by the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration (MCELA) and explain to people the options for how to vote safely and securely during the pandemic. 

MCELA received a grant for the campaign from the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), a non-partisan non-profit that is granting $50 million to election officials across the country.

MCELA President Jen McKernan says the Michigan campaign will seek not only to explain new voting laws in the state, but also to combat misinformation, and assure people that the election process is safe and secure.

"Your vote will count whether you're at the polls on election day," McKernan says.  "Your vote will count whether you mail in your ballot or drop off your ballot at your city clerk's office."

The initiative will air ads on television and radio across the state.  

The campaign will also send direct mail and text messages to people who have never voted before, or who have not voted in a long time.

McKernan says people who are being deluged with those kinds of text messages can get rid of them by simply voting. 

She says once you vote, all those groups urging you to get to the polls will be informed by elections officials that you've done it, and the messages will cease.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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