GVSU offering on-campus voting for August primary and future elections

"GVSU Votes" buttons in a pile on a table
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts

As of July 18, GVSU will offer on-campus voting and voting services for all upcoming elections, including the August primary.

The Allendale Township Satellite Clerk’s Office will be open in the Kirkhof Center lobby, located outside of the Milton Ford LGBT Resource Center, on election days and during the weeks leading up to election days for voter registration and for voting via absentee ballot on-site. 

Students, faculty and staff who wish to use the services of the satellite office must provide a photo identification and proof of Allendale residency. 

For those not registered to vote in Allendale, the satellite office can provide the necessary information to connect with the appropriate clerk’s office or provide information on registering to vote as an Allendale resident.

Community members will be able to register to vote at this office during the 14 days prior to the election. The office will be open Monday through Friday between 10am-2pm. On election day, August 2, the office will expand its hours to be open from 7am-8pm. 

“Students face a lot of barriers to voting; the goal is to make voting as accessible as possible to all of our students,” said Melissa Baker Boosamra, associate director of student life for civic engagement and assessment. “Having this office on campus is about convenience, but also about creating a culture where students understand that voting is important.”

By providing students with a place on campus to vote in local and national elections, the goal is to increase student voter engagement. As of 2020, GVSU had a 72.1% voter engagement rate, which is above the national average of 66%

President Philomena V. Mantella has expressed the importance of civic engagement through the Reach Higher 2025 initiative and by signing the All In President’s Commitment to Full Voter Participation, which has helped designate GVSU as a voter friendly campus by the Campus Vote Project and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. This satellite office will help GVSU continue to work toward the goal of full student participation in the 2022 election.

The creation of the Allendale Township Satellite Clerk’s Office was made possible by partnerships among GVSU’s Student Senate, Office of Student Life and Allendale Township Clerk Jody Hansen, with support from the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office, the State of Michigan Bureau of Elections and the Allendale Election Commission.

“When the opportunity to engage more with our student voters presented itself, I could not be

more thrilled to collaborate and find an easier way to provide election services to our on-campus voters,” Hansen said.