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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

Gen Z is the future. It’s a phrase you hear throughout the media, inspiring strength and pride in many young people, most notably college students. However, the two-fold context of this phrase comes from various social, economic, and political issues Gen Z faces daily. While the task of “being the future” seems daunting, history proves that there is a definitive way for our future to change: voting. Participation in this staple of democracy as a young person allows you to voice your opinions on issues directly affecting your course of life, including education costs or climate change. With the resources available to college students, including those at the University of Michigan, voting has become an accessible manner of exercising civic duty in a way that matters. Whether you’re a first-time voter or a pro, this article helps break down the “How-Tos” of voting, critical deadlines and issues, and the impact of voting on Gen Z and our future.  


Absentee ballots (aka “mail-in voting”) are used when you cannot be in your state during Election Day. If you meet the conditions required, that state will mail a ballot to voters, which you return by mail or in person. One of the most crucial parts of voting is registration. Registration is required for every citizen of every US state (except for ND) and is vital to the proper function of elections. 

In Michigan, the following are the registration deadlines for the 2022 Midterms:

U-M students who are US citizens are able to register to vote using their student address (EX. that 4th floor Markley dorm) or their permanent home address (EX. the suburb you live in near Chicago). 


If you choose to register and vote in Michigan, you can:

Register In Person

  • You can register and vote at one of the Ann Arbor City Clerk’s Offices located on the U-M campus, including UMMA or the Duderstadt Gallery. Here, you can register, request ballots, and talk to real people about the voting process. Additionally, you can register informally at several campus locations, like the Diag, where various student organizations hold registration events with free food and swag. 

Register Online

Early voting (in-person absentee voting) deadlines vary by location, but the deadline to vote in person in Michigan is 8 p.m. EST on November 8th, 2022. 


When voting in person in Michigan, you will need to bring a form of photo identification. These can include MCards, Driver’s Licenses, other state IDs, or passports. If already registered 15 days prior to Election Day, this is the only information you need. If registering after October 24th, you must also bring proof of residency, which can be a Michigan DL, Personal ID, or SSN. If you have any questions about the necessary documents for Michigan voting, DemocracyWorks can help. 


When deciding where you want to vote, there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, what local issues, races, or candidates do you care about? For some voters, certain representatives are more meaningful, influencing their chosen voting location. For others, hot-ticket issues are the critical deciding factors of registration and polling. Topics such as reproductive rights, climate change, student debt, and gun control are decisive issues affecting college students and the United States. 

Additionally, it is imperative to consider where voting will be easier logistically. Consider the travel and school restrictions imposed around Election Day. Can you drive or fly home? Will you vote before, in between, or after classes that Tuesday? These are meaningful questions to consider when creating a plan for November 8th. 

Finally, perhaps the biggest question to ask yourself when deciding where to vote is where do you want your vote to count? Some students might cast their ballots depending on the “weight” it carries in a specific location. For example, swing states are where voters decide the “swing” of that state’s party affiliation, altering the results of elections. Although Presidential Elections utilize this term, the Midterms hold great importance in the House of Representatives and Senate elections, impacting bipartisanship and party politics for years to come. 


Growing up as a young woman of color, I have constantly felt that my voice doesn’t matter, and for a long time, I had believed that. However, when my 18th birthday and the unprecedented news of SCOTUS rulings, science publications, and student finances all intertwined, I finally realized how important it was for young people to speak up and speak out. What you believe matters. How you feel about the issues affecting the rest of your life matters, and it all starts with casting your ballot. Each election alters our future, and no matter what anyone else says, Midterms matter

Although it is easy to think one vote– your vote– doesn’t make any difference, it does. 

This election, I will be voting for my right to reproductive freedom, the health of the planet, affordable education, and a lifetime of making a difference. This November, I implore you to take action and vote in the 2022 Midterms. Whether you vote early, absentee, or in-person at a University of Michigan location or in your home state, vote for who you believe in and what you stand for. 

Go vote, and as always, Go Blue!

For more information about the voting process in simple terms, visit Vote.org and DoSomething.org, and for University of Michigan students, check out UMICH Votes

Nidhi is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan, and is pursuing a B.S. in Psychology. She loves practicing self care, making niche Spotify playlists, and anything pink! When she's not writing or studying, she is out dancing, cooking, planning future travels, or binging chick-flicks!