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Three local VA centers to become voter registration sites

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Element5 Digital via Unsplash

The Michigan Secretary of State and the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs have announced a new initiative to help veterans get access to voting.

Three VA Centers in Southeast Michigan will be designated voter registration sites: The VA Medical Centers in Detroit and Saginaw as well as the Detroit Regional office.

In an announcement made on Tuesday, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson touted the program. Benson said the partnership would "ensure we expand opportunities for all veterans and their families to play an active role in our democracy."

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the program would "encourage full participation in our democracy by our military families, who sacrifice so much for our fundamental freedoms.”

Some of the program's finer details are still being pieced together, said Cheri Hardmon, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State's office. However, she said, the state is working to be ready for the 2024 election cycle.

"Veterans are going to medical centers to receive treatment, other services. This is another example of a service that will be available to them," Hardmon said.

"They've served our country. We should do whatever we can to make their ability to participate in the political process as easy as possible, and this is another way to do that," Hardmon said.

The VA centers are set to be designated via executive order in the coming weeks.

A.J. Jones is a newsroom intern and graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sources say he owns a dog named Taffy.