“It’s either you stand for something or fall for nothing,” said Michigan State University freshman Sam Bryant on voting in the 2016 Presidential Election. Thousands of MSU students feel the same way, with record-high numbers of new student voters registering to vote in this year’s election.
A widening gap between young voters who have access to high-quality civic education and those who don’t is threatening young people’s ability to be active members in America’s democracy, experts say. In the 2012 election, 56 percent of youth who had any college experience voted compared to only 29 percent of youth with no college experience. Young people between 18 and 29 make up 40 percent of the youth population. The gap was similar in the 2008 election, when 62 percent of youth with any college experience voted, compared to only 36 percent of youth with no college experience. “Studies point to young people who are in wealthy districts are more likely to be exposed to the evidence-based, high-quality civic practices,” said Abby Kiesa, director of impact at The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.
Capital Area Transportation Authority, or CATA, will offer free rides on Election Day, Nov. 8. A bus pass will not be required. CATA Director of Marketing Laurie Robison wrote in an email that “a valid voter registration card is all that’s required for a free ride aboard CATA on Election Day.”
East Lansing City Clerk Marie Wicks has a message for voters: registering for an absentee ballot is one of the easiest things you’ll do this election season. Wicks said students are consistently surprised at how simple the process is. “That’s what I’ve heard over and over and over,” she said. “Students came in and they were like, ‘I can’t believe this is so easy, I didn’t need to show a birth certificate.’ Nope. Just need to show your ID, that’s it.”
With less than two months until the election, one Michigan State University student says he plans to vote, but a lack of pressure and motivation have stopped him from going through the registration process. Blake Isaacs, a 21-year-old James Madison College senior majoring in political theory and constitutional democracy from Farmington Hills, Mich., says he’ll probably register to vote in the coming weeks. “Getting off the couch to ensure I’m registered is something I plan on doing,” said Isaacs. “But still, in reality, if I don’t vote, it isn’t going to make a difference. Now, if everyone has that mindset, that’s a problem.”
Working his way through school by maintaining Newby Teas of London’s online store and MSU Hillel, Isaacs says time and motivation are what have stopped him from ever registering.
Traffic cleared and Lizzie Ausmus led me across Grand River Ave towards the MSU Union. She only had 25 minutes for an interview, in between work and her class at the engineering building. Ausmus is a bio-systems engineering junior, and she rarely has time for anything besides class and work. “It’s a struggle a lot of the time,” she said. “I don’t really have what you would call the normal college life.”
Alongside her demanding classes, Ausmus works at the Timbers Golf Club every weekend as a caddie.
By Rachel Beard
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter
The March 8, 2016 presidential primary resulted in a record-breaking voter turnout in Michigan, and, while perhaps not record-breaking, Lansing Township also experienced a higher turnout than usual. “Well, [voter turnout] was double what it was four years ago,” Lansing Township Clerk Susan Aten said. “It was higher than it normally is, for that particular election.”
The average turnout here was 35 percent. “Our precincts ranged from 25 to 43 percent,” Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said. “Information comes from the clerk’s office and [is] also posted on Ingham County’s website.”
Christopher Larimer, Professor of American Politics at the University of Northern Iowa, attributes this increase in turnout to the large number of Republican candidates running for office.
By Griffin Wasik
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter
The Mason Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Facilities Improvement Steering Committee to place a $79,845,000 bond on the May 3, ballot, according to a school board meeting. If approved, the bond would fund facility improvements, security upgrades, and new technology at all school buildings in the district, according to discussions at meeting. Money from the bond would buy new computers and tablets for students to use for educational purposes, according to meeting officials. “This has a $4.5 million investment in technology over nine years,” Mason Public Schools District Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said. “It will allow us to provide more 21st century environments technology driven.
On March 8, Meridian Township voters hit the polling booths and cast their votes in the 2016 presidential primary election, along with the rest of Michigan. Those booths were a bit busier than usual. According to the township clerk’s office, of the 29,554 registered voters in Meridian, 13,115 submitted either a ballot or an absentee ballot for the primary. It was also reported that at least 3,500 absentee ballots were submitted for this election, compared to only about 1,200 absentee ballots submitted in 2012’s primary. This year’s voter turnout for the primary toppled 2012’s statistic in general, when only 5,917 Meridian voters of 27,377 registered voters submitted a ballot.
The March 8 presidential primary election is coming up and the people of Delhi Township are preparing. The job of the voters is to keep up with who is running. However, the job for the clerk is completely different than those of the voters, because preparing for elections can be a handful. “Big or small we have a lot to get done before any election, and it’s my job to make sure it all goes smoothly,” said Township Clerk Evan Hope. Election turnouts varies depending upon the election.