A group of Western Michigan University faculty, staff, and students is encouraging more students to vote. While Western Michigan University has promoted voting in the past, the WeVote Committee is the first on-campus committee focused on voting.
Faculty co-chair Denise Keele says the goal is to help students be good citizens as well as scholars. She says the committee hopes to make the voting process normal for students at WMU. While Keele says she knows that many young voters are demoralized, their votes do matter.
“When we vote we win, right? And by that we mean we want our young people engaged and making the decisions about their future. And that is the mission of WeVote.” Keele says the committee hopes that getting more students to the polling booth will lead to broader civic engagement. She says if all students at WMU had voted in 2016, the results of the presidential election could have been very different.
“The number of votes that decide elections is actually a lot closer than folks think. Your vote does make a difference and can make a difference.”
WMU political science major Alexander Lawrence is a student coordinator with WeVote. Lawrence says he volunteered because of his passion for getting others involved in the political process. He says the election in November is a chance for everyone to be heard.
“Especially after this 2016 election, a lot of people have woken up and (said), 'This is not right; my voice is not being heard.'”