Student Congress voter registration error prevents students from voting

Campus

Campus

By Ali DeRees

Students who registered to vote at the Rock4Rights event held by Oakland University Student Congress (OUSC) in September this year were unable to vote in the Nov. 4 midterm elections due to an error in returning the registration forms to the Secretary of State in time.

According to OUSC Vice President Liz Iwanski, the legislative affairs director responsible for collecting and returning the the registration forms took them to Secretary of State where she was told she could take them to county clerks offices to speed up the process. Not knowing how to effectively do this, the director returned all of them to the Secretary of State office in Troy, but by then it was too late for the forms to be processed in time for this election.

“People came out (to Rock4Rights) because they wanted to vote in this election,” said sophomore Marissa Coloske who is majoring in both economics and political science.

This was Coloske’s first opportunity to vote in an election since turning 18.

“I’ve been wanting to vote since I was in fourth grade,” Coloske said.

Sophomore and accounting major Breanna Goggin also attended Rock4Rights and registered to vote. When Coloske told her that she was unable to vote, Goggin went to the Secretary of State website to see if she was registered to vote to find she wasn’t.

“Knowing that you have to wait longer after already waiting for so long is a major let down,” Goggin said.

OUSC Vice President Liz Iwanski expressed how sorry she was for the mistake.

“We are extremely sorry. We’ve been encouraging students to go out and vote,” Iwanski said. “There are no words.”

Below is a formal apology to all of those affected by the voting registration at Rock4Rights. Students who are not sure if they are registered can check at vote.michigan.gov/mvic/votersearch.

To the Oakland University Students who registered to vote at the Rock for Rights event,

We would like to thoroughly apologize to those who went to the polls on Tuesday and were unable to vote due to our error. The registration sheets did not get to the clerk on time after being dropped off at the Secretary of State office. There is nothing that can be said to make up for this horrible misstep. The main purpose of Student Congress is to make sure that students’ voices are heard and we were not able to accomplish this mission during this voting season. We hope that this will not stop students from reaching out to us in the future for the resources that we provide or from voting in future elections. Our organization is always here to help students in whatever way we can and we are so sorry that we have let these students down.

With our sincerest apologies,

Oakland University Student Congress

If you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter, please feel free to discuss it with us at [email protected].