On Nov. 5 the College Democrats of SVSU held a voter Education Event on campus just days before the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election. This event was only open to students and hosted a variety of state and local politicians on the Democratic ticket, including Gov. gretchen whitmer and state Attorney General Dana Nessel.
The event was kicked off by College Democrats President Diva Patel. She thanked everyone for coming and encouraging everyone to vote.
“We have five days until election day,” she said. “It is really important that everybody in this room makes a plan to vote and makes sure that their friends and family are also registered and ready to vote.”
The first speaker was Saginaw County Clerk Vanessa Guerra. Guerra brought a replica of a ballot onstage walked the audience through how to vote. She talked about the different sections, what they mean, and how to actually fill in the ballot.
She also briefly talked about the act of voting, when to get in line, when to register, and when to have a mail-in ballot sent out by.
The second speaker was Amos O’Neal, a state House representative from Saginaw County campaigning for re-election. O’Neal kept his speech short and simple.
He compared voting to a relay race and said it was time to pass on the baton. He ended his speech by having the crowd chant, “My vote is my voice.”
The next speaker was Kristen McDonald Rivet, candidate for the Michigan Senate. She talked about her stances on important, current, political issues like abortion and our economic state.
“If you go to class and you do all your homework, [that should] translate into a job that allows you to buy a house, raise kids if that’s what you want,” she said. “That’s the American dream. That is on the ballot [this election].”
Congressman Dan Kildee returned to campus for this event, after meeting with students last Wednesday. He encouraged students to vote, against what the media is predicting.
“Our political system is one that is intended for us to have a government that is a reflection of all of us,” he said. “If you read the reporting of this election, it may not mention you specifically, but (…) folks out there, they’re talking about you, and you know what they’re predicting? They’re predicting a pretty good number of you aren’t going to vote.”
Pamela Pugh, candidate for State Board of Education, spoke next. She focused her speech on the school systems and issues that could affect children in the state.
Nessel talked about her opponent, Matthew DePerno and the things she wants to do if she continues to be attorney general.
The last speaker of the event was Whitmer.
“I am so glad to be here with all the Cardinals,” she said. “Thank you for making time for us because we are working our tails off for you and your future and making Michigan a place where every person has a path to prosperity, no matter who you are, where you come from, what you look like, who you love. Michigan is the place for prosperity and for opportunity and it is all because of you.”
She talked a bit about th ehigh stakes of the election Tuesday, when voters will choose between her and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon.
“I know we have a tendency to kind of tune out during midterm elections, but these elections touch people’s lives in more fundamental ways than even the national ones do,” Whitmer said. “From the minute you turn on your tap water to the roads you drive to get to your destination, to what it requires to get into a university and be able to pay for [it], to whether or not you have the rights to make your own decisions about your bodies and the right to live a full and free life free from discrimination and hate, these midterm elections matter.”
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