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‘Pastries and Politics’ discuss voting process

Political science sophomore Larkin West voices his opinion at Tuesday’s Pastries and Politics session. Vanguard Photographer | Ryan Pelletier

SVSU’s College Republicans and College Democrats hosted their second “Pastries and Politics” for the semester on Monday, Nov 15. Abigail Sefcik, the president of College Republicans, said the topic was picked ahead of time.

“This month we are talking about mailing ballots, gerrymandering/redistricting and all the things related to the election process,” Sefcik said.

Diva Patel, the president of the College Democrats, said the topic selection was specific.

“The reasoning behind tonight’s topic selection was to facilitate active discussions about elections, voting, and election integrity as they have been widely debated topics, especially following the 2020 election,” she said.

They started the discussion off by talking about mail in ballots and the importance they can bring for both sides.

“I think mail in ballots are important because they make things more accessible for everyone. About 11 percent of people don’t have a valid driver’s license or identification, so about 21 million Americans don’t have the ability to vote,” Patel said.

After the discussion Patel believed a middle ground was found.

“I believe that there was a middle ground between the two sides be- cause both sides have the same fundamental goal: to have secure and accessible voter registration processes and elections. Both sides simply have opposing views on how to achieve those goals,” Patel said.

Before the event, Sefcik said the goal of the event is to let people express their thoughts about voting.

“We’ve found that between the two groups we have some differences but that those differences can be smaller than we think they are,” said Sefcik

Sefcik said she and Patel get along very well and she anticipated the points that came from Patel’s side.

“I want to note [the] way Patel listens and absorbs information, thinking critically and then responding accordingly,” Sefcik said. “Various attendees on both sides of the aisle could learn something from the way she respects those around her. The College Democrats have a very deserving president who works well with others, and I hope that our friendship will show others that the youth of both the Republican and Democratic party are capable of more than just division.”

Patel said meaningful conversation was accomplished at the event.

“I am incredibly grateful to the attendees of Pastries and Politics for wanting to engage in deep and meaningful conversations on various top- ics while simultaneously keeping an open mind,” she said. “Pastries and Politics is a great place, in my opinion, to foster and develop your views, especially if you are unsure where you stand.”

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