As mid-term elections approach, Ferris students will be making their voices heard Nov. 2.
This year’s elections will include governor, attorney general, secretary of state, representative in the U.S. Congress, state senator, state representative and two non-partisan justices of the Michigan Supreme Court.
According to Katherine Williams, president of College Republicans, the big race this year is between the Republican candidate for Governor Rick Snyder and the Democratic candidate Virg Bernero.
“There are also other candidates running as well: Harley Mikkelson for the Green party, Stacey Mathia running independent and Ken Proctor for the Libertarian party,” said Williams.
In addition to the candidate elections, there are two ballot proposals.
President of College Democrats Justin Jackson said proposal one concerns where Michigan should hold a constitutional convention next year, while proposal two involves allowing convicted felons to hold an elected office.
Christine Bailey, instructor of political science, said students should vote because many state and national issues are of importance to students, including whether or not the U.S. should continue the Student Loan Program.
Jackson said he thinks overall involvement is very low on campus, even more so than normal in the mid-term election year.
“Voting is not a spectator sport. You have to get off the bench and get into the game,” said Jackson.
Jackson said every candidate running for office has a plan to “get Michigan back on its feet,” an d how it occurs will depend on who is elected governor and which party controls the State House of Representatives and State Senate.
“The people most likely to vote are the people who know the difference between Republicans and Democrats,” said Dr. Roy Griffin, professor of political science.
Griffin said Republicans believe tax cuts or a sales tax from 10 to 20 percent is the way to get the economy moving, and Democrats believe we need the government to do things, while taxing fairly and broadly, but not greatly.
In a recent poll of 115 students, 56 percent of students said they were not voting, 31 percent said they have or will and 13 percent were undecided.
Jackson said he thinks a reason students are not involved in politics is because they do not know enough about the candidates to formulate an opinion.
“I think there is room to increase our student’s interest in government,” said Williams. “We must educate them on the issues and let them decide where they stand. Sadly, the deadline to register to vote for this election is over.”
Still, Williams said it is not too late to get an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots are due by Nov. 2. In-person voting will be Nov. 2 from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.mi.gov/vote. n