Just ahead of Michigan's March 10 primary election, the Washtenaw County Clerk/Register's office has released a four-part nonpartisan video series called "How to Vote in Michigan."
The videos, (titled How to Register to Vote, How to Prepare to Vote, How to Vote by Absentee Ballot, and How to Vote on Election Day), are aimed primarily at the county's younger and first-time voters, but contain valuable information for everyone.
"Our intention is to provide factual information about the local registration and voting process that everyone can benefit from," says Edward Golembiewski, Washtenaw County director of elections. "There are basics for new voters and also new, important information that all voters need to be aware of."
The series was first released in 2018, but has been updated to inform the public about recent changes in voters' rights. Of particular importance is Michigan voters' right to vote absentee without giving a reason, established with the passage of Proposal 18-3 in 2018.
"We want everyone to be aware of their expanded options and exactly how absentee voting works," Golembiewski says.
The concise videos were deliberately designed to be fun and engaging. The project was brought to life by Ypsilanti-based 7 Cylinders Studios and features young local actresses and actors.
"Donald Harrison and his team at 7 Cylinders Studio are known for finding creative and compelling ways to tell stories and provide information that is in the public interest," Golembiewski says. "It was obvious that, in our case, the studio took a genuine interest in helping us inform voters about their rights."
"How to Vote in Michigan" viewers are, in turn, encouraged to help educate others by sharing on social media. The series is also available on the County Elections website.
Anyone who watches the videos and still has questions can contact the Washtenaw County Clerk/Register Elections Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or (734) 222-6730. There is also more information at www.washtenaw.org/elections.
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at email@example.com.