Students push for change with voter registration drive

**Correction: A previous version of this article misnamed Elijah McClain as Eliza McClain. We regret the error, which has been fixed.

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Graduates of East Kentwood High School are hoping a voter registration drive this week will lead to future change as they encourage young and old people alike to become a part of the political process.

Andrew Love helped organize the event. He explained that recent high-profile cases of police brutality are part of what inspired him and his friends to do something beyond protesting.

“With the killings of Brionna Taylor, George Floyd, Elijah McClain and many other stories we haven’t even heard about yet, my generation as a whole was very touched by that, and we’ve been doing (everything we can) to encourage people to speak up,” Love said. “However, one of the most important and lasting ways we can continue to have an impact is by participating in the American political system.”

Anyone regardless of age, education level or any other factor is encouraged to register through this event.

Love explained that his generation is more excited and engaged to fight and better the world around them.

“We grew up in a time so much more diverse and richer than our grandparents, our parents, our community members who came before us. Because of that experience, we understand the multitude of issues that come with it, but we also understand the responsibility we have to protect that aspect of our society,” he said.

He wants to fight for the Black community, Hispanic community, LGBTQ community and anyone who never had a voice or whose voice has been silenced.

A close friend of Love’s had planned to hold a voter registration drive in the spring as part of a senior year project but had to cancel it due to COVID-19. They felt now would be a good time to catch anyone leaving for college and educate them on the absentee process before they go.

This is a drive-up event so anyone who participates will remain in their cars. Organizers ask that participants wear a mask and bring a driver’s license or be prepared to share a social security number.

The location and dates for the voter registration are listed below:

  • Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Celebration Cinema South, located at 1506 Eastport Drive SE in Gaines Township.
  • Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Celebration Cinema South.
  • Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at R&R Mechanical Services, located 433 Crofton Street SE in Grand Rapids.
  • Friday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at R&R Mechanical Services.