Teanna Barnes is a junior majoring in journalism with a concentration in broadcasting and a minor in musical theatre at Michigan State University. Barnes is from West Bloomfield, Michigan, and loves reporting and being in front of the camera. She hopes to one day be an entertainment reporter.
Although some might argue that issues on the ballot for the upcoming state midterm election affect young adults more than anyone else, it still appears to be a challenge to get them to go out and vote. The effort to get younger voters to the polls has been apparent on social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Tik Tok.
Generation Z is widely accepted to be made up of those born between the late 1990s, and the early 2010s, a demographic more likely to experience the effects of elected officials and proposals passed. Still, a large number of them are either not informed about what is on the ballot, or not planning on participating in the election.
20-year-old Ricky Braman, a student at MSU, is registered to vote, but could not think of one elected official or proposal included on the ballot.
“I guess I’m just not that interested, but my mom encouraged me to register to vote,” Braman said.
This isn’t his first time voting either. Braman previously recalls voting in the 2020 presidential election.
“I knew that the presidential election was important to be a part of, especially the last one,” Braman said.
Most young people his age know that presidential elections occur every four years because of media attention, but it is harder to get them to participate in smaller elections because they feel it is not as important.
“You don’t hear as many controversial debates or negative opinions about these elections like you do for the presidential one,” Braman said. Instagram shows users advertisements like one from the popular ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s which included a photo of the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot with bold letters reading, “Vote like your democracy depends on it. Because it does!”
There have been efforts to encourage members of Generation Z to vote and to stress the importance of exercising one’s right to vote in elections, especially because Proposal 2, on the Michigan ballot, aims to protect that right and potentially make it easier for those eligible.
A visit to the library is usually something that people take for granted because they never had to worry about having it taken away.
However, after COVID-19 hit, visits to the library had to be modified for the safety of others. Two years later, South Lansing Library is returning to normal.