With a little more than a month until Election Day, East Lansing was buzzing over a surprisingly divisive City Council election. With six candidates vying for three seats, residents and City Hall workers ramped up efforts to get Michigan State students registered by the Oct. 2 deadline for the Nov. 3 ballot.
“I believe all qualified registered voters should exercise their right to vote,” said Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum in support of MSU students’ right to vote in City Council elections. East Lansing Clerk Marie Wicks added that there are plenty of reasons for students to take interest in East Lansing politics in this election.
“… Students are interested in town-gown relations, downtown development, rental housing and other quality-of-life issues,” said Wicks. “I also think they’re interested in things like nuisance ordinances (party litter, snow shoveling, noise, etc.) that may affect them.”
Wicks is so passionate about new residents participating in East Lansing elections that she partnered with MSU community liaison Sue Webster to form the YouVote initiative in 2014.
When asked to describe the goal of the non-partisan initiative, Sue Webster said, “You’Vote’s charge is to increase the number of registered MSU students, to make sure they are educated about options about elections and to get them to actually vote on election day.”
Wicks advises MSU students to make sure they know exactly which precinct to vote at come Nov. 3. She said several college apartment complexes in Ingham County use East Lansing addresses despite being part of different voting precincts. For that reason, Wicks advises registered students to double-check their precinct before Election Day.
Residents who missed the Oct. 2 deadline for this fall’s election can still ensure they’re ready for the 2016 primary by registering through TurboVote. There’s a handy walkthrough that can guide new voters through the registration process.
Residents of East Lansing looking to get to know each of the six candidates running for City Council can view each of their platforms online.