Students share opinions on 2022 midterm election

Photo+courtesy+of+Crains+Detroit+Business

Photo courtesy of Crain’s Detroit Business

Autumn Okuszka, Features Reporter

With Election Day rapidly approaching, Michigan voters have a lot of thoughts on who and what they’re going to vote for. Whether it be the gubernatorial election or the three proposals on the ballot, Oakland University students have opinions to share on the 2022 midterm election.

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was first elected governor of Michigan in 2018. Her campaign promises for her re-election reflect what she has worked on the past four years — education investment, creating new jobs and as she puts it — “fixing the damn roads.” 

Although Whitmer’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is widely debated, junior India Flournoy believes she handled it well, and that is one of the reasons why she is voting for her as governor.

“The way she handled COVID — she did the best that she could […] to keep everyone safe and try to lower the numbers [of COVID-19 cases],” Flournoy said.

Whitmer’s opponent, Republican nominee Tudor Dixon, is a former conservative news host. She has not held political office before, but says that she will offer a fresh perspective on Michigan’s state government.

Dixon has made campaign promises ranging from reducing personal income tax to protecting the second amendment. She is also focused on reducing crime rates, which is what caught junior Javier Lebron’s attention.

“She’s trying to focus on limiting crime [and] keeping hard against crime laws,” Lebron said. “It’s mostly the crime and other economic issues that she has my attention for.” 

Dixon has also made her stance as anti-abortion a part of her platform following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022. While Whitmer immediately filed a motion in the Michigan Supreme Court to protect the constitutional right to abortion, Dixon would likely strip abortion rights as governor. In an interview with Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS) Monday, she said that there should be “no exceptions” to getting an abortion unless it came down to the health of the mother.

Lebron is not in favor of Dixon’s proposed restriction of reproductive rights, stating that she shouldn’t make it a part of her candidacy. 

“I believe that everyone should be able to do [what they want] with [their] body,” he said.

Reproductive rights will be a prevalent issue on the ballot, with Proposal Three involving the protection of reproductive rights. According to a recent poll by WDIV Local 4, 61.6% of Michigan voters said they would support the proposal. 

This upcoming election will be freshman Emma Garrett’s first time voting in a major election, and she is excited to vote on something as groundbreaking as Proposal Three. 

“I have been a big supporter of abortion rights since I knew what it was,” Garrett said. “It was very, very important to me to vote yes on Proposal Three.”

The idea of Proposal Three not passing is frightening to Garrett — not only for her sake, but for other “uterus-owners” as well.

“It is so scary as a young ‘uterus-owner,’” Garrett said. “The thought of not having a say in what happens with my body, the thought of not having a say in what I can do — it’s terrifying.”

No matter where students stand on the gubernatorial election and the proposals on the ballot, Jeremy Johnson, director of executive platform at OU Student Congress, believes that it’s important to get out and vote. 

“Eventually, our political systems will be ours to inherit,” Johnson said. “If we aren’t engaging in that process [of voting] now, it’s going to be very difficult to deal with problems down the line.”