Students react to midterm election results

Many OU students are relieved by the results of last week’s midterm election in Michigan. The passing of Proposal 3 and Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s defeat of Republican challenger Tudor Dixon were especially important to students.

Proposal 3 will enshrine abortion rights into Michigan’s constitution. The proposal came after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June.

Nursing student Lizzy Kay said she is happy Proposal 3 passed because “women should have a choice.” Kay believes if Proposal 3 did not pass, there would be nurses who would strike if they were involved with abortions — whether they supported the proposal or not.  

“I know there would be doctors that would still [perform abortions] under the table, and [I am sure] that there would still be nurses that would,” Kay said. “I know that some people feel very strongly about that issue and would not really let the law affect what they want to do.”

Others like IT student Nevkiran Singh said they are glad Proposal 3 passed because it gives women a voice. The proposal was personal for Singh because  she has seen examples of people dealing with abortions and medical procedures during pregnancy when the mother was at risk.

“This was the first election I voted in, and the main reason I did was because of women’s rights,” Singh said. “[Proposal 3 passing] gave me a breath of fresh air and relief for not just me, but it’s more so about other women.”

Turnout for this election broke a midterm record in Michigan, with over 4.4 million total votes cast. Last week’s turnout beat a record most recently set in 2018, which saw 4.3 million total votes.

Singh also said every person should have a voice in what is best for them beyond abortion, not just women.

Sociology student Dylan Schwartz had a similar reaction to Proposal 3 passing. While it does not affect him directly, he is happy knowing his sisters’ and girlfriend’s rights are protected. Schwartz also said he was happy about the outcomes of Proposal 2 and Michigan’s gubernatorial race.

“I kind of knew that she was going to win already, but I was still very pleased to see Gretchen win,” Schwartz said. “I think she’s a great governor. Overall, as someone who votes democrat, I was pretty pleased with the outcome.”

Proposal 3 was an issue Whitmer and Dixon spoke about often during their campaigns and debates. Whitmer supports abortion rights, while Dixon calls herself “a strong pro-life leader.”

Singh considers herself a fan of Whitmer’s, describing her as “a poised, elegant lady.” Singh said Whitmer has done a great job as governor, especially when tasked with leading Michigan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business student Alex VanBuhler feels both concerned and indifferent about the election’s results, and said the race for governor was most important to him. VanBuhler mentioned he is thinking about how elections in Michigan and around the country will impact other states and the U.S. as a whole.

For example, Michigan was not the only state to have an abortion-related proposal on their ballot. Several other state ballots asked voters whether to add protections that increase abortion access, while others asked voters if protections should be rejected. 

Film-production student Morgan Southward also felt neutral toward some of the election results, but was glad for the results of issues that were important to her. From the results she had seen, Southward said she felt that they reflected her opinions. 

Like many other students, Southward was particularly interested in Proposal 3. She said Proposal 3 passing will have a better impact on the future of anyone who could be affected by abortion rights than if it had not.

The Post is looking for students across the political spectrum to contribute to a monthly political column. Any students who are interested should contact the Post ([email protected].)