Marquette man Steven Syers is revved up for democracy this year. Here’s why.
MARQUETTE, MI — He “wanted to come home” and be closer to his family — and to hopefully oust a president.
Steven Syers is back where it all began, ready to invoke his civic duty.
Syers, 48, grew up in Michigan and later moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2008. He is retired following an injury on the job as a network technician, leading to a forced medical retirement.
On Aug. 10, just after the state primary, he moved back home.
An Hour-Long Trek to Register to Vote
The Marquette native said that just a couple days after he returned to Michigan, he looked at the different options he had regarding voter registration.
The information was harder to find than he expected. He contacted different people and made no headway. He even scoured Democratic-leaning Facebook pages and received no replies.
Then, he contacted the Michigan Department of State to find out information about registering his vehicle and obtaining a valid ID. He was told that SOS offices in Marquette were open only on an appointment basis, with the soonest date available being Nov. 17—nearly two weeks following the general election.
“I knew I didn’t want to wait because I wouldn’t have been able to vote. … You’d think that with the elections…it just takes forever to get any appointments,” he said.
After more research, he found an office in his vicinity—in Baraga, about an hour from his home—and drove the approximate 60 miles to get properly registered. That was about Aug. 24.
Getting Your Voice Heard During a ‘Polarizing’ Time in History
Syers admitted he wasn’t completely knowledgeable about Michigan’s voting rules, in terms of absentee voting and early voting. He was cognizant of the discussion surrounding absentee ballots at the national level, however, due to words emanated from the mouth of President Donald Trump.
“If it means I have to go in person (I will), but Trump doesn’t want anyone mailing ballots in,” he said. “It’s kind of worrying. I know he has no control of Michigan but it makes you worried.”
In a time when he is personally struggling with a brain injury and back and shoulder issues, Syers said he just wants to vote.
“It’s very polarizing,” he said. “I am a registered Democrat and know that I want to do what I can to turn Michigan blue. I don’t like the corruption; I don’t like the lying; I don’t like the way (Trump) treats individuals with disabilities because I am one myself. It’s sick to see what he says on a daily basis.”