By Jonathan Andrews
LANSING TOWNSHIP – Typically a mid-term election doesn’t gather as many voters as a presidential election would. For voters at the First Christian Church in Lansing Township this wasn’t a problem.
“I vote when it’s available,” said Joe Marines, a biochemistry student at Michigan State. “This year’s ballot had important issues about wolf hunting and a new parks millage.”
The view that these ballot questions and millages needed to be taken seriously echoed through other voters at the first precinct polls for Lansing Township as well as the important gubernatorial race. Advertisements about the candidates in the weeks before the election have historically been attacking, and this year was no different.
“The advertisements these past couple weeks were sticky,” said Kristen Mills, a Lansing Township resident. “It’s usual to see (these ads) but it makes you think.”
Michigan State Professor of Educational Policy Amy Jamison hadn’t seen these ads however, so they didn’t have a chance to sway her opinion. “I didn’t see any of the ads, but I also made my mind up (on who to vote for) long ago; probably over a year ago.”
The people who came in and out of the First Christian Church came from all walks of life. Even a family with their dog showed up to vote on the windy Tuesday evening.
Not all of the voters were as confident with their decisions as Jamison was, however.
“I tend to split (between conservative and liberal) the way I vote at every level,” said Marines. “I’ll split at the state and national level.”
Although the voters who showed up at the First Christian Church were enthusiastic to vote in this year’s election, not all of their fellow residents felt quite the same. Of the 1,024 registered voters in the 1st Precinct of Lansing Township only 413 people voted in the gubernatorial election, which is about 40 percent of the people in the precinct.
This was second lowest percentage in Lansing Township with the lowest being about 33 percent in the 3rd Precinct and the highest being about 54 percent in the 2nd Precinct.
These less than average voter turnout percentages don’t dissuade some people from voting though; for people like Mills it inspires them to continue showing up at the annual elections.
“I vote every year,” said Mills. “It’s our right to do so.”