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MSU students head to the polls, evaluate candidates on Election Day

November 8, 2022
MSU community votes on Election Day at Brody Hall on Nov. 8, 2022.
MSU community votes on Election Day at Brody Hall on Nov. 8, 2022. —
Photo by Audrey Richardson | The State News

Students made their way into Brody Hall on Tuesday morning to begin casting their ballots in one of the most critical midterm elections in decades.

Various groups on campus have been working since the start of the semester to help turn out greater numbers of students at the polls. Brody Hall was also the site of early voting, and students were able to register with the East Lansing City Clerk’s Office on campus. 

Biochemistry freshman Aaron Jafri, who decided to utilize the early voting system for his first election as an eligible voter, said that he was satisfied with the candidates available to him, but he wished there was more substantive information provided about them to voters.

“I feel like you have to go out of your way to learn about candidates,” Jafri said. “And I think that's really messed up. ... I noticed that a vast majority of the political ads are just politicians bad-mouthing each other, and nobody says anything about what they're actually going to do.”

Political ads have been especially prevalent this year, taking up space on streaming platforms like Hulu as well as on local television. In the race for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District, voters have complained about the sheer volume of ads in what quickly became the country’s most expensive congressional race between U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and Michigan Sen. Tom Barrett.

Human biology senior Sumana Tangirala said that she was happy with the candidates she cast her ballot for, but that, in spite of reading up on candidates beforehand, she felt less informed about various down-ballot races. She said she plans to do more research the next time she votes. 

“I feel like there was a lot of stuff on the ballot that needed a decision, and I did my research,” Tangirala said. “So I was very happy with how I voted.”

Elena Greer, the Youth Vice Chair for the Michigan Democratic Party, said that in the past, voters have had trouble finding information on down-ballot races, especially non-partisan ones like local school boards or judicial seats. She feels that there’s been improvement in that this year. 

“We've been getting a lot of great mail on all of our local school board candidates, so that they've done a very good job informing everyone about the down-ballot races, which I think hasn’t happened until pretty recently,” Greer said. “It's a good sign, because normally, I'd be Googling them last minute.”

Psychology senior Hannah Campau, who said she voted for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, said that the decision on who to vote for was easy and that she was able to change her registration to East Lansing without any complications.

Human biology senior Jenan Shareef, who was voting alongside Campau, said that she knew long before Election Day that she wouldn’t be voting for Tudor Dixon for governor.

“I haven’t looked at who was her running mate,” Shareef said.

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