First-time voters cast their ballots in midterm races

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Brody Hall was the voting precinct for many Michigan State University students, some of whom cast their votes for the first time today.

Rachel Hyams

Brody Hall was the voting precinct for many Michigan State University students, some of whom cast their votes for the first time today.

At 10 a.m, the lines to vote at Brody Hall were filled with first-time voters looking to make their voices heard.

Muskegon native Nicole Bernard said she was excited to be able to vote for the first time.

“I want to share my voice and be heard,” said Bernard, who had just finished casting her vote.

One of the reasons she said she voted was to vote yes on Proposal 1, which would legalize recreational marijuana.

Voters will decide three statewide ballot proposals in Michigan, including the marijuana proposal and proposals that would change how Michigan draws legislative and congressional districts and to change some election rules.

Traverse City native Jada Archer, who is a freshman living at Brody, said she believes if she is encouraging others to vote she as well should go out and make a change.

“ Our current state of our country and society are not in the best shape,” said Archer, who had also just cast her vote.

Archer said she felt strongly about voting yes on Proposal 2, which has to do with redistricting.

“I think it’s super important for everybody to vote if you can vote because that’s your voice in how our country is run and if you’re not going to do anything to change it you really can’t do anything to complain about it,” said Katie Singer, a human biology sophomore who was voting at IM Sports East. “I was really excited to vote because it’s the first election that I can vote in, and also my mom texted me like the past few days like ‘remember to vote, come out to vote, are you going to vote, like where’s your polling location, have you checked’, so she was very encouraging.”

Bri Hawn, of Muskegon, had also cast her first vote at Brody. She she she was eager to vote as she got out early.

“I feel really strongly about politics,” she said.

She said she felt strongly about voting to legalize recreational marijuana.

“Honestly just feel like it’s not anyone else’s business what another person chooses to do or not to do,” Hawn said via text message. “And if someone chooses to use marijuana, it’s not affecting anyone but the person smoking it.”

Freshman Jeniah Powe, a nutritional science major who was voting at IM Sports West, agreed.

“I think it’s very important (for students to get out and vote) and I’m voting to today, so I can try to implement the change I want to see as I get older,” Powe said. “I think it (marijuana) needs to be legal, everybody’s getting locked up over things people do all the time and it’s not fair … .”

First-time voter Sarah Slinkman said she feels strongly about environmental issues.

“If you want change. Be a part of the change,” said Slinkman, of West Olive.

She said she also felt strong about Proposal 3, which would automatically register people to vote and allow absentee ballot voting for any reason, among other voting changes.

“Proposal 3 would make it easier to vote and hopefully get more people to the polls,” she said.

Julian Mitchell contributed to this report.

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