Younger voters have impact on Election Day

As absentee voters turned out in numbers weeks before the 2022 general election, many wondered how this would affect the in-person voter turnout. Election officials and precinct chairs in Ingham County, Michigan, said that their days have been slow or mild to start, but turnout was projected to be the same after all is said and done. In recent years, younger voters have been turning out in large numbers, and on Michigan State University’s campus, that was the case.

Student signs into vote at the MSU Union

Students take advantage of on-campus polls

Bella Montagno, who said she wanted to vote for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and all three of the proposals on Michigan’s ballot, didn’t have to go far. 

She is an English major at Michigan State University and voted at the MSU Union.

East Lansing had campus precincts at the Union, Brody Hall and three at IM West.

Students line up to receive a ballot at a table in Brody Hall.

East Lansing elections run smoothly as election challengers observe

In contrast to scenes of voter intimidation in some parts of the country, East Lansing polling places were free of trouble on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

This fall, East Lansing City Clerk Jennifer Shuster said the city was expecting an increase in election challengers at the polls during this year’s midterm elections. While challengers were present at several polling locations throughout the day, officials at these precincts reported normal conditions.

Vote sign points at two people walking away from polling place, a larg building.

Why does your vote matter? Join the discussion 

East Lansing voters talk about why voting matters to them. Join our discussion and share why it matters to you. Here’s what some of the voters said. 

Mona Owusu, voting at the Hannah Community Center poll said, “As African Americans, we have fought a very long battle to do what we’re doing now… For my ancestors and the people that came before me to do that,” she said, not voting “would be a letdown.” Owusu is proud that her voice can be heard. “Now it’s been heard, and I’m going to let it ring.”

Advertisements aim to push Generation Z to the polls

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.

CATA giving free rides to the polls

CATA is offering free transportation to local clerk offices and ballot drop boxes up until Election Day on Nov. 8. 

According to CATA’s website, buses will not require identification or proof that they are registered voters.

Young man stands near ballot box outside East Lansing City Hall.

Absentee ballots booming in 2022

The Nov. 8 elections are more than a month away, and East Lansing City Clerk Jennifer Shuster’s office is busy preparing absentee ballots.

Shuster said she and her team expect about 12,000 absentee voters this year, an increasing demand spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters can fill out a ballot at home and deposit it at a local dropbox or with the clerk’s office, avoiding in-person polling locations.

East Lansing clerk sets up campus desk to register MSU voters

Marie Wicks and assistant work the satellite office in Brody Hall’s lobby. EAST LANSING – Instead of waiting for students to come to elections, the East Lansing city clerk is bringing elections to the students. On Monday, Clerk Jennifer Shuster opened a satellite office on the ground floor of Brody Hall, home to the popular Brody Square cafeteria. The goal is for students to register in time for the city council election on Nov. 2.