LWV registers voters, urges people to vote

Photo by Sherri Kolade
Dearborn resident Mohamad Fadlallah (left) registers to vote on Sept. 26 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center while League of Women Voters of Dearborn-Dearborn Heights member Kathy Gapa gives him directions on the voter registration form.

By SHERRI KOLADE
Times-Herald Newspapers

The League of Women Voters Dearborn-Dearborn Heights wants individuals who are not registered to vote to register before the Oct. 9 registration deadline.

During National Voter Registration Day Sept. 25, LWVD-DH members Kathy Gapa and Chris Sullivan-Rathwell asked residents at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Library if they were interested in registering to vote. Although no one registered on that day, the next day at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 10 people registered to vote – eight Dearborn residents, one Dearborn Heights resident and one Detroit resident.

Sullivan-Rathwell said the National Voter Registration Day originated in 2011 as a way to reach the roughly 6 million Americans who want to vote but don’t know where or how to register. This is the first year the event was held.

“This is brand new this year,” Sullivan-Rathwell said. “And we are working with great energy and enthusiasm to get students and adults registered to vote. We believe every vote makes a difference and it gives you an opportunity to participate.”

Sullivan-Rathwell added that once people cast their own votes. they often have a vested interest in how those candidates perform.

“If you don’t vote, someone takes the power away from you,” she said.

Dearborn resident Chris O’Brien, a registered voter, stood with his friend who registered to vote at the Ford Center. O’Brien said he registered and voted for the first time in 2008 at 18 years old.

He said voting is a duty and nothing to take lightly.

“It decides the future of a country, laws and regulations,” O’Brien said. “It can change history.”

If residents wait to register to vote on Oct. 9 they need to register in person at their city clerk’s office.

Gapa said LWVD-DH wants to make registering convenient for residents by having mobile voting registration centers.

“Once we get this registration we forward it right to the city clerk’s office and they get them into the computer and there won’t be any obstructions,” Gapa said. “They’ll get their card and they will be all set.”

For more information on registering to vote go to www.eac.gov.