What’s in a vote?

Students express the importance of casting a ballot

Graphic by : Sarah Massey I Production Manager

Though a majority of the voting age population in Michigan registers to vote for every election, less than half is utilizing this right regularly.

According to the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) website, less than 43 percent of the voting age population voted in the last two Gubernatorial elections. As of Saturday, Sept. 15, there were 7,415,321 registered voters, according to the Michigan SOS website. However, if this election follows the trend of the past 20 years of Gubernatorial election years, only 44.4 percent of the voting age population will vote.

Some students believe that people do not vote because they don’t think their vote makes a difference.

“I feel like some people our age don’t because they feel that their voice doesn’t matter,” Ferris secondary education senior Kayla Clough said. “I mean, I think it is important, but I definitely see where people come from when they feel like their opinion doesn’t matter, especially if
you lose what you’re voting for. It’s like, ‘Okay, well then why did I even try?’ But at the same time, if you vote and you think that you lost by one, it’s like, ‘I could have really made a difference if I had a vote.’”

Ferris secondary education senior Rachel Rodenhouse agreed with Clough, but also said she believes it depends on where a person is in life, and college students are more likely to vote because they are exposed to more culture and opportunities.

“I feel like on a college campus, a lot of people will vote. But my boyfriend doesn’t go to college, and he’s not registered to vote and has
never voted, and I don’t really think he cares to vote,” Rodenhouse said. “So, I think it just depends on where you’re at in life.”

Ferris pre-pharmacy freshman Kenzie Romps said it’s important for people in the younger generation to vote, but a lot of people don’t formulate their own opinions.

“No one really has their own opinions, they don’t know everything about politics,” Romps said. “I think most people go based off of what everyone else around them thinks.”

The voter registration process is relatively simple. The deadline to register is 30 days before election day, which is Nov. 6 this year, making the deadline to register Oct. 9. When submitting the application, students can either hand-deliver it or mail it in. However, if students mail in
their application, they must appear in person to vote in the first election in which they wish to participate. There are exceptions to this listed on the Michigan SOS website, but if students want to use an absentee ballot for their first election, they are required to hand-deliver their application to their local city or township clerk’s office. Mailing in applications has additional identification requirements, which can also be found on the SOS website. Students who have already registered can find absentee ballots on the Michigan SOS website.