OPINION: Noting the importance of voting at all levels


This is a column from Katie Prebelich, Student Government Association press secretary. She is a junior from Troy, Michigan.

As press secretary for SGA and the Central Michigan University institutional fellow for Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP), I have heard firsthand the conversations that are being had about college students’ impact on elections. More than ever in recent history, college-aged students are turning out to vote. 

The most recent National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) report shows that between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections, the rate of college students who voted nearly doubled. College students are playing a larger role in elections nationwide. As college students, we must continue to show up to vote and make our voices heard at every level. 

With a big presidential election on the horizon, it’s easy for us to forget about the many local elections that are coming up this November. The drama and excitement of an election like 2020 can take our attention away from the local elections that have as much of an impact on our lives as national elections do.

State and local governments manage many of the things we experience on a day to day basis. From policing and public safety to school quality and public transportation, local governments have an influential role in our lives, whether we vote or not.

Every vote matters at all levels of elections, but with fewer constituents in local elections, your vote can have an even bigger impact. So, as we enter into the presidential primaries, which will be March 10 for Michigan voters, let us not forget about the impact we can make at every level. 

If you are registered to vote in Mount Pleasant, there is a City Commissioner election Nov. 5. Three of the candidates will be at SGA’s Annual Local Candidates Forum. The forum will take place Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Bovee University Center Auditorium. 

To check if you are registered to vote in the state of Michigan or to see if you have a local election Nov. 5 outside of Mount Pleasant, go to https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us.

If you have not yet registered to vote or have questions about voting laws in Michigan, be sure to go to the Fire Up the Vote event this Wednesday, Sept. 25. The event will take place next to the Park Library from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mobile Secretary of State will be there to register students to vote. In order to register, bring a government-issued ID. There will also be games, prizes and food. 

If you have any questions about the Fire Up the Vote event or the upcoming elections, please reach out to Katie Prebelich at prebe1k@cmich.edu.