The State – 11/10/22

Rachel Fulton

Today’s weather forecast is predicting intervals of clouds and sunshine with a high of 74 degrees and a low of 51 degrees.

MSU students still in line to vote hours after polls at East Lansing satellite office close

Michigan State University students waited in line for hours at the East Lansing City Clerk’s satellite office inside Brody Hall to register to vote with their East Lansing address and cast their ballots for the Nov. 8 General Election.

MSU psychology freshman and first-time voter Logan Walters got in line at 6:15 p.m. and was still waiting at 10:30 p.m. Walters said there was not a specific issue that brought him to the polls.

Political science junior Aarian Driskell waited in line for over three hours, and she said that there was nothing that would make her leave after that point. The pre-law student said she was drawn to vote on abortion issues this election.

“I’m not pro-life or pro-choice, but there are some things where it’s just like–that’s just not okay,” Driskell said.

Social relations and policy senior Beija McCarter and pre-law freshman Alena Walker volunteered with Michigan United handing out water and food to encourage people to stay in line.

“I wanted to make sure that every student knows that they have a voice and that it needs to be heard,” McCarter said. “A lot of times, students don’t vote because things like this happen where it’s really difficult. It’s 10:30, people want to go home, but it’s really important that people get their voice heard–especially our generation.”

In-person voting in East Lansing high, but not same as pre-pandemic elections

Poll workers and observers across East Lansing say that in-person voter turnout was higher than expected, but still hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels.

No major issues or bottlenecks came up the morning or afternoon of Tuesday, though many Michigan State University students did have to go to the city clerk satellite office in Brody Hall to fix issues with their registration before they could vote at their assigned precinct.

Poll workers at some on-campus precincts, such as the MSU Union, said they had sent as many voters to the Brody clerk as they had successfully processed. Others at off-campus locations like the Martin Luther Chapel reported under 10 percent of voters having registration issues. The poll workers said all locations had major turnouts.

A key message among candidates this year was spurring young people to vote. Poll workers in East Lansing said that while more young voters came out than previous years, the total in-person numbers within the age group have not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

East Lansing Film Festival opening night sets tone for week-long indie film exploration

On opening night of the silver anniversary of the East Lansing Film Festival, or ELFF, on Nov. 3, community members filled Studio C at Celebration Theater for the local tradition.

Festival director Susan Woods hosted an opening night party, where she was surrounded by festival goers from the last 25 years. She sees these community members as very dear friends.

One of the annual festival enthusiasts, Martha Couretas, sees ELFF as a cultural haven in her small community. She views films every year that she wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else and finds Michigan filmmakers enlightening.

The opening film was “Bad Axe,” It’s namesake is the rural, conservative Michigan town it was filmed in. The film follows an immigrant family during the depths of the pandemic, combating economic hardship with their family business, racism in their small town and an attempt to keep their family ties close. David Siev, the director, made the movie as a love letter to his family and his hometown.

The autobiographical documentary has already had a successful film festival run, with awards from the Detroit Free Press and the South by Southwest Film Festival. It has won 17 awards and has been projected as an Oscars contender.

Julia Field, an audience member, thought the film was heartwarming, yet also representative of the hardship of the pandemic.

The second film of opening night was “Jacir,” a feature film depicting the main character, Jacir, and his journey from Syria to America.

ELFF will run until Nov. 10. A schedule of the films can be viewed on The State News website.

Based on original reporting Maddy Warren, Bella Johnson, Alex Walters and Liz Nass.