Editor's note: This is a letter to the editor that was submitted by a Wayne State alumnus and it's content does not necessarily represent the views of The South End, it's editorial board or employees.
I remember my first time voting as a student. It was in 1994 and I was voting in the gubernatorial election. I was excited to finally have a say in electing people who would be in charge of leading our state.
I remember standing in line at the polling booth in Taylor as poll workers were walking around directing people where to go. When my turn came, I walked into the booth and began pulling levers for the candidates of my choice.
Thankfully, I was registered to vote because I happened to walk by a table sponsored by the League of Women Voters. As someone who had been interested in politics since a young age, I’m surprised today that I knew so little about the actual process of voting.
The upcoming election this November 4th is equally, if not more, important than the presidential election. Decisions made by the President or Congress might take months or years to impact us at the statewide or local level, but choices made by our governor and state legislators have immediate impacts.
Our roads are a good example. Had our elected leaders taken action to find a long-term funding solution to fix our roads and bridges at the beginning of the summer, we’d probably be hitting a lot less potholes during our commutes home or to class than we are now. Their failure to take action means that we’ll have to go through another winter and probably be dealing with even worse road conditions come next spring.
That’s why voting, in both off year and presidential elections, is so important. It’s up to us to elect leaders who are going to do what’s best for our educations, our families, our communities, and us. And in statewide and local elections, every single vote counts.
Thankfully, the Michigan Election Coalition, a coalition of nonpartisan, non-profit organizations working to increase citizen engagement with democracy, has created a new website that makes voting easier. It even has guidelines specifically for students. Visit the site at http://mielectioncoalition.org/.
This November, whether it’s your first time voting or you’ve already got some experience under your belt, get out and exercise your most fundamental right to vote. It’s your duty to yourself, your family, your peers and your future.
The experiences we have in college will stick with us for our entire lives - make voting one of them.