Secretary of State
NOVEMBER 30, 2019
ANN ARBOR – Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose made a friendly bet today at the University of Michigan vs. Ohio State football game in Ann Arbor – and it wasn’t about football.
Benson, a proud Michigander and Wolverine fan, and LaRose, a proud Ohioan and Buckeye, each wagered that their state would see a higher voter turnout percentage in the 2020 general election. If Michigan has higher turnout next November, LaRose will have to wear maize and blue and sing the Michigan fight song at next year’s OSU vs U of M game. If Ohio beats Michigan in voter turnout, Benson will wear scarlet and grey and sing the Ohio State fight song.
“Your vote is your voice and we want all voters to understand that their vote matters next fall and in every election,” said Secretary Benson. “I know my fellow Michiganders won’t let me down and will turn out to vote in very large numbers next November.”
In past elections, Michigan and Ohio have been very close in voter turnout rates. The 2016 presidential election drew a voter turnout rate of 64 percent for both states. While the 2018 midterm elections resulted in a higher percentage of voter turnout in Ohio, (60 percent of Ohioans voted versus 53 percent of Michiganders), the total number of voters between the states stood strikingly close, with Ohio standing at 4.5 million voters versus Michigan’s 4.4 million.
At the university level, The Ohio State University recently edged out the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, with 43 percent and 41 percent student voting rates in the 2018 midterms, respectively, and Michigan State University, which came in at 35 percent.
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