East Lansing residents and out-of-state Michigan State University students say they haven't received their absentee ballots months after requesting them.
Political science sophomore and first-time voter Jeanette Dompreh is not registered to vote in Michigan so she requested an absentee ballot from her hometown — Beverly, Ill.
That was a month ago and Dompreh's ballot hasn't arrived yet.
"I'm not sure what I'm gonna do honestly," Dompreh said. "I'm just worried that it's not gonna get here in time ... I don't want to miss out on (the election) just because I didn't get the ballot in time."
Dompreh said the process to vote, particularly for young people, is inaccessible.
"I didn't even know I could fill out a form and get my absentee voter ballot until my political science professor did a little presentation about voting," Dompreh said. "If it wasn't for someone else helping me with it, I wouldn't have been able to do it in the first place."
Somer Sodeman, a journalism sophomore at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is originally from East Lansing. She requested an absentee ballot in late September and, like Dompreh, hasn't gotten her ballot yet.
The U.S. Postal Service advises against mailing absentee ballots later than a week before the election but in Michigan, residents are allowed to drop off their absentee ballots in person or invalidate it at the polling station and cast their vote there.
Sodeman said it isn't possible for her to come back to Michigan to vote because she has classes to attend.
"It's so frustrating that all of it is out of my control. I've tried all the resources to see if my absentee ballot would get here in time," Sodeman said. "It's stressful knowing that I should be able to vote for my abortion rights and I can't."
East Lansing resident and Montana State University student Ella Hogan didn't receive her absentee ballot either.
Hogan called the East Lansing City Clerk's Office but was told there was nothing that could be done and that Hogan must now vote in-person.
However, coming back to Michigan to vote is expensive, she said.
"It's an easy process," Hogan said. "I don't know what went wrong here."
Now, Hogan can't do anything about the results of the elections – which she said is scary.
"You don't have to say in it at all, which I should," Hogan said.
The midterm elections will take place Tuesday and polls will close at 8 p.m.
Support student media!
Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.
Share and discuss “East Lansing residents and out-of-state MSU students face absentee voting challenges” on social media.