UMSI Votes - Do You Have a Plan?

What is your plan to vote in the upcoming election? Will you vote in person on November 6? Will you request and submit an absentee ballot? We have collected voting plans from some students, staff, and faculty and have shared them below. It's important to know your plan ahead of time and have a backup plan.

Remember, if you plan to vote absentee, you need to request a ballot ahead of time and mail it back to arrive by 8 pm on November 6. If you are voting in person in Michigan on November 6, you can look up your polling place here.

UMSI Voting Plans

Tom Finholt, Dean: My polling location is Haisley Elementary School on Ann Arbor’s west side (Ward 5, Precinct 9). Since I am up early to walk Loki the Wonder Dog – I’m going to vote at 7:30 AM. I expect there will be lines, but experience tells me that it goes quickly. My backup plan is to vote later in the day around 5 PM.


Jaleesa Rosario, MSI Student: In the days leading up to November 6, I have become energized by the fact that as a queer person of color the most radical thing I can do in this country is vote. So on November 6, I plan on waking up early to head to a friends house before we all head to the polling station. With strength in numbers we can support each other through the whole process and afterwards head back home to celebrate with a voting themed brunch party.


Allison Sweet, Staff: On November 6, I plan to wake up early to get to the polls before work. I'll let my dog out, make an americano (caffeine is a must), and drive myself to the Scio Fire Dept. Hall by 7:30am. We have a staff meeting that morning at 9, so I want to leave enough time to vote. If the line is too long, I will go back after work around 5.


Steve Oney, Faculty: On November 6th, I will be out of town (at CSCW) so I sent in an absentee ballot last week. I applied for an absentee ballot here. and an absentee ballot arrived a couple of weeks afterwards. As I was filling out my absentee ballot, I did research on the issues here.


Madel Leal, MSI Student: On November 6th, my partner and I will be getting up early to head to the voting poll. Because it's my first time voting in Michigan I have to be there in person. I plan to wake up early, make some coffee and head to precinct 6th Fire Station to vote, yay! It's helpful because my partner knows the area well and can help me if I have any questions or concerns. Then we will head to Ann Arbor afterwards.


Kentaro Toyama, Faculty: On October 22, I walked over to 300 W. Huron St. (two blocks from North Quad), where the Ann Arbor City Clerk offices are, went to the second floor, completed an absentee ballot request, received the ballot, and then completed and submitted the ballot. That is to say, I already voted! I had voted in person before, and I took my Michigan driver's license (which has my Ann Arbor address on it), and I was able to do the rest there. I went around 3:30pm in the afternoon on a Monday, and there was no line.


Alex Carey, MSI Student: my plan for Election Day was to drive home to my polling location since I don't live that far away. However, I will be out of town the weekend before and my flight home does not return until after the polls close! Luckily, filling out an absentee ballot is super easy, so now I can vote ahead of time with zero stress!


Kyle Essenmacher, BSI Student: I am registered to vote where I grew up: Oakland County (hour+ away from Washtenaw County) so I filled out an absentee ballot earlier this month since I will be in class on November 6th. I ran into some trouble with the absentee ballot since my signature on file didn't match my signature I sent in, but I sent a scanned signature to the Oakland Counties clerks office and now everything is okay. All I have left to do is mail in my absentee ballot in time to arrive before 8pm by November 6th, which I plan on doing by the end of this week.


Kelly Kowatch, Staff: As I anticipate not being in my local community on the day of the election, I have submitted a request for an Absentee Ballot. Not only will this allow me to have my vote counted on a day that I'll be away, I can also sit at my home computer and research candidates and proposals to be sure that I'm voting in alignment with our community needs.


Vlad Potiyevskiy, MSI Student: On November 6th I plan to wake up early so I can go to the gym and work out. After getting a post workout meal I’ll go to my polling place (Rackham Graduate School) and vote. Since my Tuesday mornings are pretty calm I plan to take care of voting then, regardless of the wait.


Imaan Munir, BSI Student: I plan to wake up early Tuesday morning to attend class until noon. Then I will drive back to my hometown to vote at Ridge Wood Elementary School located in Northville, MI. Election day is also my mom's birthday so I plan to celebrate with her after I'm done voting!


Nicole Ellison, Faculty: I will be traveling to the CSCW conference in New York over Election Day, so I requested an absentee ballot a few weeks ago. It arrived and last weekend I spent some time researching issues and filled it out. I put two stamps on it and dropped it off in a corner mailbox because I don't trust my mail carrier who often gives me other people's mail.


Linh Huynh, Staff: My polling location is the U-M Coliseum. I plan to grab coffee on my way to the polling location and vote at 7:30am. My back-up plan is to vote at 4:30pm later that day.


Novia Wong, MSI Student: Before November 6, I plan on familiarizing myself with the sample ballot, which can be found on this website. Then, on the day of November 6, I plan on waking up early and taking the bus to my polling station near my apartment. I want to leave around an hour or so at the polling place, just in case there is a lot of people.


Veronica Falandino, Staff: I actually just sent in an application to be an election inspector for Superior Township. Our township quarterly mentioned a significant shortage of election inspectors, and I'm hoping to have the chance to serve in this capacity. You have to agree to be available from 6am-10pm on election day, so I imagine voting would happen at some point in that 16 hour shift! If I'm not chosen for that, then after I pick up my kiddo at the end of the day, he and I will head to the Superior Township Hall (Precinct 5, no Wards in our township) to vote. If past experience is any indication, no fewer than 6 election staff will offer him I Voted stickers. He's come to every chance we've had to vote since he was born!


Dima Chaar, MHI Student: On November 6, I plan to drive to the polls near my house at the Community Center (Precinct 9) at 9am, and then head to campus in time to grab a cup of coffee in NQ before SI 618 office hours. If the line is too long, I'll return after classes at 4.


Devon Keen, Staff: On November 6, I plan to wake up earlier than usual and make sure I am dressed and ready to go before waking my 6-year-old daughter up for the day. I will help her get ready and talk to her about voting to get her hyped! I'll plan a grab n' go breakfast for her and then we will hit the road to our polling place down the street hopefully by 7:30 am so I have time to drop her off at childcare before heading to work. I have learned to have snacks on hand for her and a book or other activity to occupy her attention if we end up having to wait in line. My backup plan is to pick up my daughter from school after work and go vote then around 6/6:30 pm-- that will mean she will miss an afterschool activity that day but voting is too important to miss!


Jean Hardy, PhD Student: On November 6, I'll be in attendance at the CSCW conference in Jersey City, NJ, making voting in the local election in-person an impossibility. The Michigan Secretary of State requires anyone needing absentee ballots to request their ballot by the Saturday before their election by mailing an application to their local city or township clerk (You can see more instructions here). I mailed my application for an absentee ballot on October 19 in hopes that I get it before I leave for the conference on November 1. Once I receive my application, I'll fill out my absentee ballot and mail it in.

What's your plan? 

Share your voting plan here and complete a Pledge to Vote card (these can be found around UMSI spaces). For those of you who are not eligible to vote in this election, please ask other students about their plans and encourage them to vote!