By: Jillian Hough
Since the founding of the United States, democracy, and the right to vote have been integral to our nation. Although it was originally restricted to white men, almost every citizen ofthe U.S. can exercise their right to vote in today’s elections. Sherry Mesle-Morain and Eric Elliott were in the NSU on Friday, October 21st helping Graceland students register to vote and encourage them to participate in our democracy.
The 2022 general election will be held on Tuesday, November 8th. There are several candidates and issues to vote on in this election. Mesle-Morain says, “local, county, state, and national candidates [are up for election]”. There will be county officers, state legislators, Congress officials, governor, and more.There is also an amendment to the Iowa Constitution up for vote. According to state legislation, “The ballot measure would add a right to own and bear firearms to the Iowa Constitution and require strict scrutiny for any alleged violations of the right brought before a court”. Lamoni’s polling place is the Lamoni Community Center. Doors will open at 7am and close at 8pm. If you are in line to vote by 8pm, your vote will count.
Mesle-Morain tackles the question, “Why should I register to vote?” When people reside in polar states, it can be difficult to understand why your vote matters. She explains, “There are issues at stake that matter in your life, and you need to know what those are, and you need to vote to either vote against them or for them. Even if an issue is not on the ballot as an amendment, the candidates will be for or against those issues”. She adds, “You need to exerciseyour right to vote, and then you’ll be an intelligent voter”.
To vote in Iowa, you must be a U.S. citizen, reside in Iowa, not be a convicted felon, and not be registered anywhere else. Students at Graceland can vote absentee from their home state or change their registration to Iowa and vote in Iowa’s election. Students can use their Graceland student address, 1 University Place, Campus Box , to register to vote in Decatur County. Elliot explains, “Iowa has same day registration, so you can vote when you goto the polling station”, meaningyou can register to vote in-person at the Lamoni Community Centeron November 8, the day of the election. To register to vote in-person, you will need a photo IDand proof ofIowa residency. Decatur County is CongressionalDistrict 3, State Senate District 14, and State House District 27.
Iowa Candidates in the 2022 General ElectionSenator:
Democratic –Mike Franken
Republican –Chuck Grassley (incumbent)
House Representative (District 3):
Democratic –Cindy Axne (incumbent)
Republican –Zach Nunn
Democratic –Deidre DeJear
Libertarian –Rick Stewart
Republican –Kim Reynolds (incumbent)
Helpful links for voting and registration:
Click here for the full list of Iowa candidates
Click here for Iowa voting districts
Click here for in-person registration requirements
Click here to check if you are registered to vote in Iowa