Voting requirements will be loosened a bit in Michigan after college students went to federal court arguing the rules were designed to keep them from turning out.
The changes announced Wednesday will be in place in time for next year's election, when Michigan's 16 electoral votes will be among the most intensely contested in the presidential race. Donald Trump carried the state by a scant 11,000 votes last time, breaking a six-election winning streak for the Democratic nominees.
College Democrats at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University sued the state before the 2018 midterm alleging that the election laws were restrictive, confusing and otherwise stacked against the state's youngest voters.
One requirement held that residents have the same address on their driver's license and their voter registration. Another required first-time voters to cast ballots in person if they registered by mail or through a third-party organization. The students argued these rules have a heavier impact on their generation.
To resolve the suit, Michigan Live reported, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the state will share voting information with college students and other first-time voters through a website and on social media, including information about where students may register and highlighted emphasis on the rules for matching addresses.
The in-person voting requirement will no longer be enforced, said Benson, because the state recognizes it puts an unnecessary burden on student voters.
Benson is a Democrat. When the suit was filed two years ago the top elections official in the state was a Republican.
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RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.
Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?
To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."
The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.
The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.
Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.
While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."