Are you prepared? Election day is almost here! Although it may feel like filling out a piece of paper doesn’t do a lot, it’s a crucial way to weigh in on issues that are important to you and your family. Voters have an equal say in dictating their future, so it’s important to get out the vote! Hope College is participating in a nationwide Campus Vote Project. Now that the registration date has passed, it’s important to make a game plan for Tuesday, November 6. If you’re registered under your Hope address (anywhere on campus), we have you covered for a ride to the polls. Starting at 8 a.m., every 30 minutes till 8 p.m., there will be vans at the flagpole to take you to the polling destinations. Grab your friends, and come on out! If you are registered at home and won’t make it back on November 6, make sure you get your absentee ballot this week. Michigan applications are located in the Student Life office, and every state has applications online at your state’s government website. The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is Saturday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m., or voters can go and pick up an absentee ballot in person until Monday, November 5th at 4pm at the local clerk’s office. If you have questions or don’t know what steps to take, check out vote411.org. This site is also super helpful for checking out what candidates will be on your ballot and what they stand for. Hope College stats are extremely low for voter participation in past midterms, so we encourage Hope College to actively participate and embrace your civic duty.
This year, there are also three proposals that will show up on your ballot. We will list them here so you’re prepared. Sometimes the language can be tricky and confusing. The first proposal is a law to authorize and legalize possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years of age and older, as well as commercial sales of marijuana through state-licensed retailers. If you agree with the legalization of marijuana choose yes; if you disagree choose no. The second is a proposed constitutional amendment to establish a commission of citizens with exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress every 10 years. This is to prevent gerrymandering, the practice of manipulating boundaries of congressional districts to favor one party or class. If you agree (that districts should be established by a random and non-partisan group of voters equally from each political party), choose yes, and if you disagree choose no. The third proposed initiative would authorize automatic and election day voter registration, no-reason absentee voting and straight ticket voting, and it would add current legal requirements for military and overseas voting and post-election audits to the Michigan Constitution. This makes registering to vote a lot easier without a bunch of hoops to jump through. If you agree with the proposal vote yes, if you disagree choose no. Happy voting!