Farmington Schools students talk voting rights with state officials

U.S. Representative Haley Stevens held an April 23 Voting Rights Roundtable discussion with several Farmington Public Schools (FPS) high schoolers.

The group discussed recent state proposals that affect voters and the importance of voter participation.

Farmington Schools Voting Rights Roundtable
Farmington High School senior, Riane Molloy, asks the U.S. Representative panel members a question. (Farmington Public Schools)

“I enjoyed the opportunity to meet the people who represent me in the government and talk about an issue I care about immensely,” Farmington High senior Riane Molloy said in a press release. “I learned about the importance of making sure people are registered to vote so that everyone’s voice can be heard.”

Stevens was joined by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Director of Voters not Politicians Nancy Wang, ACLU Voting Rights Strategist Sharon Dolente, and Farmington High Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. Government teacher Jeremy Gold. Along with Molloy, students who participated included David Daliege, Farmington Central High School; Anish Gaddam, Paul Aran, Cecilia Norris, Jessalyn Vrieland, Farmington High; and Samantha Eahrow, Claudia Cantu, and Danielle Goldberg, North Farmington High.

FPS student voting roundtable

Among the items discussed, Proposal 2, approved in 2018, established a nonpartisan redistricting commission, and Proposal 3 allows absentee voting for any reason, straight-ticket voting, and voting by mail. Proposal 2 created an independent, 13-member redistricting commission to draw new legislative boundaries. This redistricting commission will be composed of four Republicans, four Democrats, and five individuals that are not party specific.

Benson said she will launch a statewide mock election initiative in high schools for the 2020 election. She wants students to know that their voices can be heard and that their votes do count.