Michigan couple drove 23 hours back from Montana because ‘not voting is not an option’

By: - November 3, 2020 9:27 am

When Micheal Wilson, 23, from Paw Paw, realized she wasn’t going to be able to get her absentee ballot in on time while she was on a trip in Montana, she and her boyfriend, Harrison Haynor, 24 from Woodland, decided to make the 23 hour drive back to Michigan to vote.

The recent college graduates were spending time with family in Big Sky, but said this election is too important to pass up. 

Haynor was able to vote absentee before they left on their trip out West. But Wilson said she learned that she couldn’t have an absentee ballot sent to the family’s vacation home.

“I think the decision [to drive back to Michigan] ultimately came when we found out that there was just no way we were getting me an absentee ballot out to Montana,” Wilson told the Advance on Tuesday. “We were staying with Harrison’s family and they decided they were going to go out to Montana. And so I tried to request the ballot and then once we found out we couldn’t get it, we decided that we had to drive back [because] we were definitely planning on staying in Montana for a lot longer than we could.”

This is her first presidential election Wilson has voted in. 

Trump raises more money than Biden in Michigan, even amid the pandemic

“Because of 2016 [when Donald Trump was elected] and watching how much it can affect people and how much it can hurt people if it’s done  wrong, it just made it clear that not voting is not an option,” Wilson said. 

Haynor said the way the Trump administration has handled the COVID-19 pandemic was the big push from him to vote during this election.

“I’ve got older relatives and family members and people in my life who are at higher risk who can’t afford to not have this sort of thing under control,” Haynor said. “I need any people in charge to be on top of that sort of thing.”

The pandemic was also part of Haynor’s decision to vote absentee and avoid going into a polling location on Election Day.

Haynor and Wilson both cast their votes for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.