Seniors need to vote in the 2018 Michigan governor’s election


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Michigan’s State Capitol building in Lansing.

While many of Pioneer’s students are following politics on the national scale, they may not focus on how much state politics affects them on a daily basis. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s second term is coming to an end and Michigan’s constitution prevents him from seeking a third term. On Nov. 6, Michigan will elect its next governor, and the newly minted adults Pioneer has produced will be able to participate in the election.

We are a nation that can freely elect our officials, yet this does not mean we should take it for granted. We have a duty to be informed about the events in our community, both locally and nationally, and vote accordingly. More local elections like this governor’s race can have far-reaching impact on issues important to young people, such as education, and thus those of us who are eligible should be sure to get registered and plan to vote. There are few reasons not to vote in Michigan’s 2018 gubernatorial election.

Currently, four democrats, eight Republicans, and 12 candidates representing other parties are vying to be the candidates for the November governor’s race. There will be a primary election Aug. 7 to determine the candidates. On the Democrat side, former state Senate leader Gretchen Whitmer has emerged as a front-runner, followed closely by Detroit-area physician Abdul El-Sayed and Ann Arbor businessman Shri Thanedar. On the Republican side, state attorney general Bill Schuette is considered by the media to be the GOP front-runner, followed by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and state Rep. Patrick Colbeck.

State legislatures pass more bills into law than the federal government does in a fiscal year, but they do not receive nearly as much attention. The office of governor plays a large role in our state legislature and affects students more than they may know. Governors can veto bills, appoint department heads or judges, and propose the annual budget. These decisions impact us daily in incredibly positive or negative ways. The office of governor is similar to the office of president on a state level, and holds immense power. Whoever becomes the next governor will make decisions that will affect us and every generation of Michigander after us.

I’m going to college in-state because it is cheaper. Unfortunately, the cost of a public education is still staggering and finding money for college has been overwhelming. Between filling out dozens of scholarships and FAFSA, I have spent more time than I care to admit worrying about paying for college. However, in-state tuition could be cheaper for universities like Michigan and Michigan State if the governor and legislature offered more funding to public universities. Since we all know how important education is in our modern world, this is a great reason to vote for a particular candidate.

Fellow students, this is our chance to have our voices heard. In the past year, it has been very evident that the state has affected our lives, from lengthening the school year and causing changes to our exam schedules to mandating when our schools have breaks. Whether students approve or disapprove of these changes, we have a chance to make a difference and remind our political leaders that they work for us. We have an opportunity to make life better for everyday Michiganders, Michigan students, and the future generations of Michiganders. Don’t waste this opportunity.