Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Initial election reactions: Low student turnout and varied perspectives

November 5, 2019
<p>People vote in the East Lansing City Council Election on Nov. 5, 2019 at Hannah Community Center.</p>

People vote in the East Lansing City Council Election on Nov. 5, 2019 at Hannah Community Center.

Photo by Sylvia Jarrus | The State News

Perspectives from voters in East Lansings precincts for the Nov. 5 election found varying opinions and low student turnout in the morning and afternoon hours of the day.

The MSU Union had only five voters before noon, according to Cathy Scott, chair of the Union's precinct

Jim Sigmon, Chair of the IM East precinct said they had less than 10 voters before 1:30 p.m. The IM West precinct saw similar numbers. 

“We've seen relatively low voter turnout. It's 2 p.m. and we've received 13 votes in precinct 15,” Chair of the IM West precinct Devin Humphreys said. 

Sophomore Reese Lanfear was not surprised by the low turnout.

“I figured not a lot of people would be voting,” Lanfear said. “I think a lot of people probably don’t even know that they should be voting today.”

After reading brief descriptions about the candidates, Lanfear felt that Warren Stanfield, Jessy Gregg and John Revitte deserved her vote.

“I just read ... a brief description of each person and what they did and the ideals that aligned most with mine,” Lanfear said.

Precincts in more residential areas off campus, like the Hannah Community Center, had a much higher turnout with non-student residents. 

VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Multimedia Editor Haley Sinclair and Videographer Tessa Osborne

This election included a question on the ballot regarding a property on the northwest tier of the city. A majority of voters said they voted yes in agreeing to allow the City of East Lansing be able to sell a vacant property as they see fit. 

“I said sure. I mean, I’m usually opposed to selling city land. But in this case, it was stupid they had to buy it, so might as well sell it,” East Lansing resident Wendell Lynch said. 

Another voter, Colin Murad, did not agree with the cities land sale and voted no to the ballot question. This was because of the overall mistrust of the current city council. 

With three city council seats to fill, the answers from voters ranged on who they voted for, but the top candidates were Jessy Gregg and Lisa Babcock. 

“I voted for Babcock and Gregg,” Murad said. “Mostly just because they are not incumbents.” 

Other voters, like Lewis Siegelbaum, felt that candidates Erik Altmann and John Revitte aligned better with his views. 

“I read their stuff, I liked what Altmann has done,” Siegelbaum. “I attended a forum ... and I was more impressed by them than the others. Meadows has been in local government long enough.” 

City of East Lansing reporter Lucas Day contributed to this story.

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