Getting educated for election day

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By Chloe Huard

Lansing Star

LANSING MI — Time is running out to become a registered voter in the city of Lansing.

Anyone who wants to vote in the November election has to register by Oct. 6. Registration can be completed by filling out an online form, registering in person at the Lansing City Clerk’s Office or registering at any Secretary of State Office.

If it is the first time a person is voting after registration, he must appear in person to vote. Andrew Moser, a student reporter at The State News, is a newly registered voter and will have to vote in person.

“I’ll vote wherever I can,” said Moser. “I don’t know the locations yet.”

There are four wards, also known as electoral areas, that the city of Lansing is divided in to. There are a total of 43 different voting locations distributed across the four wards. Where a person lives in Lansing will determine what ward, and what voting location, will be best place to vote.

Election day is on Nov. 4 and there is no shortage of big races on the ballot. In addition to an open seat in the U.S. Senate, Gov. Rick Snyder will be running against former Rep. Mark Schauer for the role as governor. Positions for attorney general, secretary of state and seats in both the state House and Senate will also be on the ballot for this election.

Political and communication scientists have been conducting studies on the upcoming election to determine trends and possible outcomes. Dr. Daniel Bergan, an associate professor in communication at MSU, has been involved in several studies involving elections before.

“A number of political scientists are predicting that Republicans will take the U.S. Senate,” said Bergan. “Their predictions are based on the well-established relationship between elections and the state of the economy, presidential approval and other factors that this year favor Republicans.”

Voters in the community have expressed concern about other issues that will be on the ballot as well. Lindsay Hahn, a graduate teaching assistant at MSU, said she will be reading up on infrastructure and transportation issues before she votes, in particular the state of Michigan’s roads.

Lindsay Hahn researches different parts of the November ballot. Photo by Chloe Huard.

Lindsay Hahn researches different parts of the November ballot. Photo by Chloe Huard.

“The billboards that are all over I-96 on potholes and things like that are kind of big,” said Hahn.

Students at MSU have also been researching the upcoming election. Moser has taken a particular interest in the ballot.

“It has some important implications,” said Moser. “I know the candidates for state senator and I’m concerned about issues regarding me as a student such as tuition and health care.”

The election this November will begin at 7 a.m. and conclude at 8 p.m. Voters will only be allowed to vote after 8 p.m. if they were in line beforehand. In order to cast a ballot, voters must bring a photo identification with them, preferably their Michigan driver’s license.

Absentee ballots are available for those who will not be able to be present on election day. They can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office from now until the Saturday before the election and they must be dropped off by 8 p.m. on election day. If a voter wishes to cast their ballot at the City Clerk’s Office, he has until 4 p.m. on the day before the election.

As the election draws closer, voters will continue to seek information and get informed about their ballot. Hahn encouraged people to get involved.

“It’s really hard to have an opinion and to make an informed argument against the current state of governmental affairs if you do not vote,” said Hahn. “So you should always vote.”


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