The Nov. 6 midterm elections are shaping up to be impactful: Control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate might change, impacting everything from Supreme Court appointments to doctor’s appointments. And that’s just at the federal level. A whopping 36 states will cast votes for a governor, including Michigan, where outgoing Governor Rick Snyder is term-limited. The Great Lakes State will also decide on multiple proposals, including legal marijuana and redistricting reform aiming to end “gerrymandering.”
Ally Geschwind is a 19-year-old student from Chesterfield, Michigan. She is currently a sophomore at Macomb Community College and studies elementary education. Geschwind spends a lot of time at school, likes to hang out with her friends and is a cheerleading coach. She is eligible, but not registered to vote. Why she isn’t registered to vote
Geschwind said she never registered to vote because she doesn’t feel very connected to politics and was never fully educated on the process of registering to vote, how to fill out a ballot or what topics could be voted on.
Roughly 37 percent of Michigan’s voting-age population did not vote in the 2016 presidential election, according to the Michigan Secretary of State’s website. David Hilt, 21, of Harrison Township, is one of those 2,862,631 eligible non-voters. “Politics don’t interest me,” Hilt said. “I’m not really into it, I never look into it at all.”
Hilt belongs to a family he would describe as middle-class: His father a carpenter, his mother a manager at a fertility center. Like many, Hilt would never bring up politics at the dinner table, he said.
Dewayne Lee is a 21- year-old Michigander working to turn his life around. Raised in a challenging family situation in Detroit, he has moved around a lot, but says he is working to settle for now in East Lansing. When asked if he’s registered to vote, Lee’s initial response was, “No, I don’t have enough time right now. I will soon though.”
Lee, who’s working several jobs including night manager at the Grand River Avenue Jersey Mike’s, grew up in a household where politics were not talked about much.
“Voting was something that wasn’t really discussed in my household.
For Michigan State University nursing senior Claire Farrington, memories of the 2016 election still linger, and she can only describe her decision two years ago in one word: regret. “Every time I listen to the news I’m sad about my decision to avoid the polls,” Farrington said. “At 18 years old, I didn’t realize the impact my single vote could have on an election.”
In the 2016 presidential election, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lost to President Donald Trump by about 10,000 votes, and only 11 percent of all voters were young votes ranging from 18 to 24 years old. Farrington’s decision to steer clear from voting derived from her lack of education on candidates and policies. Although she explains that many policies have since affected her life as student, she was unaware of their impact until it was too late.
Pink was the color of the day at the Michigan Capitol as thousands rallied in support of a variety of causes and demonstrated against an equally large number of grievances and worries. We are focused on how First Amendment rights are used in the first 100 days of the Trump presidency.
The 2016 presidential election saw roughly the same percentage of youth voters as the 2012 election, but an increase in young voters who did not identify with either major party — something experts say reflects their views on American politics and poses a clear challenge for the major parties. “Youth voters are skeptical about the two major parties,” said Abby Kiesa, director of impact at the The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. “Young people want drastic change, and they don’t think Republicans or Democrats will give them that.”
Young people are increasingly leaving behind the two major parties. This year, 35 percent of youth voters said they identify as independents, which is almost the same as the 37 percent who identified with Democrats before the election. This is compared to 29 percent independents and 45 percent Democrat in 2008.