Students prepare for election day


GVL / Katherine Vasile

Trevor Hubert, Staff Reporter

As Election Day gets closer by the minute and America holds their breath while waiting to find out who the next president will be, Grand Valley State University students have been working hard to get out their vote.

Some have plans to make special trips home to hit the polls in person, while others have already turned in their absentee ballots by mail or drop box.

In an election that has been billed as the most consequential in the history of the country, the importance of going to vote has not been underscored. Over 91 million people across the country have voted early through Oct. 31, with Michigan tallying over two million early votes. With Nov. 3 fast approaching, this number is only expected to go up.

The main question is about how many people will come out to cast their vote in person. A high turnout on Election Day will most likely produce the most votes ever cast in the history of American elections. Based on the reaction from GVSU students, Lakers from all over the country are eager to get the job done in person.

“I’m driving three hours to another state so I can vote in person,” one GVSU student commented online.

Even for students that have already voted absentee, there is still a sense of disappointment over not being able to make the trip home to cast a ballot in person.

“My in-person polling place is nine hours away so I had to vote absentee and it’s given me a lot of anxiety,” another student said.

Motivating issues that GVSU students mentioned were women’s rights as well as climate change and other environmental issues. With the pandemic still weighing down on students, as well as social justice protests happening all over the country, there is no shortage of issues to get students to turn out in 2020.

The importance of this election hasn’t been lost on the university itself. For students who want more information about voting, as well as a chance to turn in absentee ballots, GVSU’s Community Service Learning Center has worked with Allendale Township to develop a Satellite Clerk’s Office in Kirkhof Center.

Students on and off campus can use the office to request an absentee ballot until 4 p.m. on Nov. 2.

Whether students are road tripping home to vote in person, dropping off their ballot on campus or sending it through the mail, one thing is for certain: GVSU students are making sure that their voices are heard in the 2020 election.