'Young people are very excited,' Michiganders getting midterm-ready
Voters will decide whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana in the state
U.S. midterm elections are taking place across the country Tuesday.
And in Michigan, Caroline Wolber said young people are "very excited" about the races across board. She's one of the organizers for NextGen America, which has been pushing for young people to vote.
One of the reasons for their enthusiasm, Wolber explained, is that "young people are very excited to see people running who look like them."
She listed a number of candidates who fit that bill, including Dana Nessel who is running for attorney general, who would be the first openly-lesbian to hold statewide office if she wins the race.
"I think it's going to increase turnout," she said.
3 ballot proposals
Other than voting for candidates, voters will also be saying 'yay' or 'nay' to three proposals on the ballots.
One of them is the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.
"It seems as though many in the state want to follow the example of Canada and be up to speed with that," said Saeed Khan, senior lecturer at Wayne State University in Detroit.
However, even if it becomes legal in Michigan, crossing the Canada-U.S. border with marijuana will continue to be a criminal offence under the U.S. federal law.
Another proposal on the ballot to end gerrymandering is one to watch for as well, according to Khan.
Congressional district lines are redrawn every 10 years with new census data, which falls under the responsibility of the majority party in state legislature. What this means, he said, is that sometimes districts are drawn to favour incumbents.
The proposal calls for a bi-partisan committee to be in charge of redrawing of the lines.
The final proposal involves making voting easier for people, from making registration easier, to allowing voters to receive absentee ballots without them having to provide a reason.
Back to blue?
Khan said the governor's race is one of the ones to watch. Republican Bill Schuette is running against Gretchen Whitmer.
According to Khan, Schuette, the current attorney general, is unpopular because of the Flint water crisis and "what is seen as his affiliation" with it, and for being an ally to the president.
Michigan had traditionally been a blue state, but voted Republican two years ago during the race that elected U.S. President Donald Trump.
Khan said this is the election to tell if that switch was just an anomaly or the beginning of a new trend.
But he said the tea leaves are telling him there's "a lot of optimism" among Democrat-supporters and that Michigan will return to what he calls "its natural state."
That's what Nicole Cloud is hoping for.
The Michigan voter said it was the 2016 race which elected Trump that brought her to the polls this year.
"I think a couple years ago, we all thought that we were for voting a good change and things changed in a way that weren't so good. So let's try it again, second round's the best time," she said.