With the the midterm election on Nov. 6 quickly approaching, individuals and organizations in Lansing are gathering information to help voters make their final decisions on candidates and policies.
Amrik Singh recently moved to Lansing and is looking forward to voting in November. Singh said that he goes to multiple sources to get information before he votes, such as candidate websites and the news.
“I am the person who is deciding my own future and the future of my community,” Singh said. “If I go in and vote for a random person, I don’t want to be complaining later.”
Lansing resident Ian Gregorski has voted in previous elections. He said he thinks some people make the mistake of voting only for one political party.
“You can’t just blindly go in and elect people, even if you’re just a Republican or Democrat,” Gregorski said. “Sometimes it’s not best to vote for your own party because the other option could be better.”
Organizations are also collecting information in order for their members to be more educated voters. Among these organizations is the Refugee Development Center of Lansing, which is an organization that supports refugees from various countries in their transition of living in the United States. Erika Brown, director of the Refugee Development Center, has worked at the center for 11 years.
“The RCL has a wide range of services that really focus on family engagement and helping refugee newcomers thrive in their community and be successful for the long term,” Brown said. “When they (refugees) arrive here through the resettlement program, they are on the path to citizenship, and after five years of being in the country they are able to take the citizenship test to become a citizen. If they pass the test, they have the opportunity to vote. We obviously don’t tell them who to vote for, but we point them in the direction of information.”
College students have the opportunity to work at the center and learn from professionals who work to help refugees learn about the United States. This gives Megan Kotnik, a Michigan State University student and volunteer, an opportunity to become more involved in the community and gather information to help her own voting decisions.
“Seeing refugees going through the citizenship process really made me want to be more aware of my local government and figure out how else I can help our community,” Kotnik said. “It made me want to go out and vote.”