Michigan clerks prepare for most voting options ever

Michigan voters have more ways than ever to cast their ballots. Last November, they passed Proposal 2, a constitutional amendment that mandates early voting be offered at all polling locations. Voting accessibility was also expanded in 2018 when Proposal 3 allowed carte blanche absentee voting. 

These new laws change how township and county clerks prepare for elections. Delta Township Clerk Mary Clark says these changes are positive because it is the clerk’s duty to ensure every voter can make it to the polls. “It’s all good because clerks are committed to people voting.

Campaign volunteer spends election day thanking people for voting

While many voted early or voted by mail this year, the polls were open in-person voters. Voters who went to the Hannah Community Center were greeted by a passionate campaign volunteer. Alan Shulman is a senior international relations student at Michigan State. He at the community center from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. thanking people for voting and encouraging them to support Democratic candidates including Joe Biden, Gary Peters and Elissa Slotkin. “If people care about proper representation, they have to go and make their voices heard on the issues they care about,” Shulman said.

MSUvote extends advice, help to student voters

MSUvote’s foundation is built on reaching out to student voters and getting them to perform in their civic duty.

MSUvote is a nonpartisan group that tells students that their vote counts and is important and that voting is a great way to have your voice heard and make an impact.

Co-chair of the MSU vote coalition Renee Brown reaches out to the student voters, even if most on-campus classes are down. Brown said that the main focus is to get as many people as possible to register to vote. 

“Registration, Education, Participation,” said Brown. “The whole focus is that the students have the information that they need.”

Ingham County City Hall Election Box

Ingham County voters are opting for absentee

As controversy continues to form around the 2020 Presidential Election, many local residents seem to have opted to vote absentee for the recent primary, and the numbers show similar trends for the general election in the fall. According to a July Detroit Free Press article by Paul Egan, over 22,000 voters have requested absentee ballots of which 60% have been returned. The total number of absentee ballots sent out for the 2016 Presidential election was 5,500. Michigan State student and Ingham County resident Cassy Landes said she knew “no matter what I wanted to vote in this election” so voting absentee was the only choice. “I thought about it (voting absentee), but I never seriously considered it until COVID reared its ugly head,” Landes said.

Gretchen Driskell campaigns at James Madison College

State of MichiganGretchen Driskell

EAST LANSING – Michigan House of Representatives Democratic candidate Gretchen Driskell spoke at a Feb. 3 event for James Madison College Kennedy Democrats. 

“She is an incredibly optimistic and hardworking candidate who is very excited to bring about progressive change in Washington, D.C.,” said Jasper Martus, president of the Kennedy Democrats. Driskell is running in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District to turn the traditionally Republican district blue by defeating incumbent Tim Walberg. 

“Tim Walberg is basically your average Republican Congressperson,” said Trevor Jones, a Driskell campaign staffer. “Walberg isn’t creating any new policy. He just kind of sits back, floats along and votes with Trump 98% of the time.”

Jones, a recent University of Michigan graduate, previously worked on Driskell’s campaign as an intern and jumped at the opportunity to work with her again. 

“Gretchen is just the perfect candidate,” Jones said.

Meridian Township children head to the polls too

Okemos Public Schools was closed due to Tuesday’s midterm election, but many Meridian Township parents still found themselves on school grounds. A total of 18 children came along with their parents as they cast their votes around noon at Murphy Elementary School. Stacy Liddick brought her children Nicholas and Allison. “We have to make decisions as people who want change,” 9-year-old Alison said. “They need to know that in order to see change, voices need to be heard,” said Liddick.

Lansing-area townships clarify instructions for absentee voters

When Meridian Township voters opened their absentee ballot marking instructions, they were presented with directions on how to vote straight party even though straight ticket voting is banned for the Nov. 6 general election in Michigan. “I was contacted by a voter last week who was confused because the instructions that are included with the absentee ballot that was mailed to them included instructions on how to mark a straight party ballot,” said Ingham County Clerk, Barb Byrum. Although the instructions were incorrect, voters do not need to worry because the ballot is accurate. Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus said that there is no need for voter confusion because there is no straight party option on the ballot.