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Hundreds of Michigan State University students waited in line for hours to vote

Michigan State University students line up to register and vote at the East Lansing City Clerk's Satellite Office inside Brody Hall on campus.
Michelle Jokisch Polo
Hundreds of Michigan State University students waited in line at Brody Hall for hours to vote in the 2022 midterm elections.

Tuesday’s 2022 midterm election drew hundreds of Michigan State University students to campus polls. Many of them were first time voters who took advantage of the state’s same day registration rules.

It was minutes before polls closed at eight o' clock Tuesday night when sophomore Cole Current rushed to Brody Hall on MSU’s campus. That’s where the East Lansing City Clerk had set up a satellite office.

Michigan State University students wait in line to vote

“I got there at 7:59 like on the dot. ... I parked, I was walking and I asked someone at the polls that the line was still open, he like ran me inside," Cole shared during a phone interview the day after election.

Current was the last person in a line of hundreds waiting to vote at the time. Suchitra Webster works at MSU and helped coordinate voting on campus. She was there watching the end of the line Tuesday night to make sure everyone had a chance to cast their ballot.

“I’m very gratified to see so many students with such positive attitudes standing in this line, and they're just eager to have their voices heard and to have their votes counted," she said. "And they could have left. It's warm, but it's just a really positive atmosphere here.”

Cole Current, MSU sophomore, presents his I.D. to staff members of the East Lansing City Clerk Satellite Office at Michigan State University.
Courtesy: Sabrina Muthyala
Cole Current registers to vote inside MSU's Brody Hall at the East Lansing City Clerk's Satellite Office.

In 2018, voters in Michigan approved a constitutional amendment allowing people to register and vote on the same day. That’s if they're in line at the polls by 8 p.m., and Current was in line for quite some time.

“I got there at 7:59 p.m. and I stayed till about 12:30 a.m. that night, so I was in line about four hours," he added.

It was Current's second time voting and despite the wait, he says he wanted to make sure he vote in favor of abortion access. He was one of many students who were vocal about being able to weigh in on Proposal 3.

19 year old student Victoria Royster voted for the first time that evening. She said she didn't think she'd had to wait as long as she did.

"I took the bus and the bus doesn't even run late," Royster said. "For reproductive rights, I think it's worth it."

Proposal 3 ultimately received enough votes to be approved and it could be due in part to the scores of students on Michigan’s college campuses who were willing to wait in line to have their voices heard.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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