8th Congressional District ups its civic involvement

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Gordon Trowbridge, spokesman for Slotkin’s re-election campaign, said from a campaign standpoint, he has noticed a difference this year in public participation.

Trowbridge said it seems like voters are aware this is a big moment for Michigan because a lot of national issues addressed can also have a significant impact on a local level.  For example, concerns about medical costs and water quality is at the top of that list. 

“What was successful for Slotkin in 2018 and so far this year, was to be pragmatic toward these issues,” he said.

“Slotkin has said participating in the choice-making is one of the most important symbols to show love for the country.”

Slotkin decided before voting took place to publicly endorse Democrat Joe Biden in the year’s primary. 

Infographic listing some of the candidates and topics voters may have seen on their ballot. Credit: Lauren Buchko

Trowbridge said he has definitely noticed a higher turnout during campaign events.

“Slotkin realizes there’s a lot of attention on Michigan during the primaries,” he said.  “It’s kind of like a ‘ground zero’ when it comes to a campaign.”

Representing the district

Trowbridge said it’s quite a bit of work for Slotkin to represent Michigan while in Washington D.C. because of the complicated schedule, but she works to represent as best as she can.

“Something that is consistent and successful in her campaigns is she speaks to and seeks out those who will benefit her constituents,” he said.

While her time is split between different locations, wherever she goes, Slotkin does her best to let residents within her district feel heard.

“There were more than 450 people packed into the auditorium for her recent town hall,” he said of Slotkin’s event on Feb. 21, 2020 in East Lansing when she spent over an hour answering questions and hearing from potential voters.

“There were supporters and opposers who just wanted their voices heard,” he said.

Voting in the primaries

Michigan’s Eight Congressional District is made up of both Southern and Southeast Michigan and includes the state capital Lansing.

According to the Secretary of State, Michigan had 7.4 million residents registered to vote as of 2018.

Precinct Six, located in Okemos, is one of the precincts that makes up the Eighth Congressional District.

Sign outside of voting precinct number six in Okemos, Michigan. Credit: Lexie Soro

Lansing resident Alana Heyser voted at this precinct for the primaries.  She said there was a lot of pressure to vote in this primary.  She just registered to vote for the first time this year, at the age of 23 years old.

A voter at Precinct Six shows off the sticker each person receives after casting their vote. Credit: Lauren Buchko

“I just got out to vote because everybody says to do so,” Heyser said.

With the new round of candidates, this election has also introduced a new way of approaching prospective voters, said Kena Yakl, a Lansing native.

Yakl said this election seems to be more interactive compared to previous years.

“You have a lot of people calling you, people will be like can you come out and help … we definitely want Bernie in office because we need some help,” Yakl said.

She said she notices the difference and is trying to do her own part in persuading those around her to get involved via social media.

“I just sent out like 100 Snapchats today telling everybody to ‘get out to f— vote!” she said.