Kent State Students are Excited, Confused About Upcoming Mid-Term Election
As we approach the consequential Nov. 8 midterm election, it is not lost on Lesa Cruz, a first-year Kent State student, what her first-time voting could mean to women’s reproductive health.
In June 2022 when Cruz heard that Roe v. Wade was overturned, she attended a protest in her hometown, Lorain, Ohio, and she registered to vote as soon as she could.
“I’m really strong about Roe v. Wade being overturned,” said Cruz, a zoology major. “I don’t like them putting laws on women’s bodies. It’s one of the main reasons I got registered to vote. I think these restrictions have to do with religion. I think there should be a separation of church and state.”
Some Kent State students who are first time voters expressed excitement as they hurried to class or the library on Oct. 31, 2022, a week before the midterm elections. Other students said they were voting, but they had not registered to vote before the deadline in Ohio which was Oct. 11, 2022, for the Nov. 8, election. It is still possible, however, to register for the next election at the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.
One student from Alabama said she wants to vote, but she’s registered in her home state, and she has no idea what is on the ballot there or whether she can get an absentee ballot.
The midterm elections will decide which party, Democrats or Republicans, will control the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as governorships, state legislatures and school boards across the country at a time when Americans are divided by political ideologies and conspiracy theories.
And if that’s not enough for first-time voters to have to think about, being confused about what type of identification you need on election day in your state can put a damper on the day.
In a recent story from WCMH in Columbus, Ohio, Kent State alumna Kayla Griffin, ‘08, recalls driving home from her Kent State University dorm after voting for the first time in 2008. The Ohio director of national voting rights organization All Voting is Local, said “she still has to occasionally check the secretary of state’s website to confirm what identification will work on Election Day.”
Sidney Strauss, a psychology major from Perrysburg, Ohio, said she is registered and voting by absentee ballot, because she is concerned about some of the local issues that are on the ballot concerning school districts.
“I feel like our votes will count,” said Strauss, as she sat with friends in the Student Center. “That’s the whole point of voting. If we all decide our votes don’t count, then none of us will vote.”
Rhys Dolacki, a nursing major, who was carrying his mail-in ballot in his backpack, was glad to be reminded to get his ballot in the mail. The Amherst, Ohio, resident, who voted for the first time in the primary, has mixed feelings about voting.
“I’m excited, but I also feel defeated because of the state of America,” said Dolacki, an Amherst resident. “It feels like my vote doesn’t count, but I know that it does. It’s nice to see on a college campus that more people here are more passionate about voting than people at home.”
For voter information in Ohio go to VoteOhio.gov.