Welcoming TurboVote to Detroit

TurboVote helps young people register to vote on the Miami Dade College campus

When my colleague John Bracken, director of journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation, told me about TurboVote in January, I knew immediately that this exciting, new platform would resonate in Detroit.

What better way to advance Detroit’s civic entrepreneurial momentum than to empower thousands of people with an easy, seamless way to register, engage, and vote?

The TurboVote concept is simple: (1) via, voters check their registration status; (2) via the web, voters request pre-filled registration/absentee forms by mail; (3) local election authorities send mail-in ballots to voters; and (4) the TurboVote system sends text/e-mail reminders to voters about important local, state, and federal elections.

We knew we couldn’t do it alone so, along with the TurboVote team, we pounded the pavement this past spring and met with area universities who could promote the service to their students. In the end, four area universities signed up as launch partners for TurboVote Detroit: Wayne State University, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Marygrove College, and Eastern Michigan University. Check out the press release to learn more.

We should all applaud the leadership of TurboVote and these universities who are advancing a more informed and engaged Detroit.

As with all of our other Detroit grants and initiatives, I’m especially excited that TurboVote meets Detroiters where they are to offer easy opportunities to connect, support, and participate in all of our city’s civic energy.   

By Rishi Jaitly, program director/Detroit at Knight Foundation

Related: Knight’s program director/Detroit, Rishi S. Jaitly, Seth Flaxman, Founder of TurboVote, and Matthew Norfleet, Student Body President at Eastern Michigan University, discuss TurboVote on The Craig Fahle show on WDET

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