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‘Every vote counts’

Local residents turn out to help decide high-stakes election

Editor’s note: Voters across Kent County took to the polls — many of them located at public schools — on a sunny Tuesday, to help decide a historic election that promised a record turnout. Our SNN photographer, Dianne Carroll Burdick, captured their enthusiasm and thoughts at three polling places.

Jack Stegehuis, left, a worker for the city engineering and clerk’s offices during the election, talks with Todd Ernst, a contractor for Joy To The Polls, a nonpartisan group that brings musical playlists to polling sites to keep the mood positive and chill. Stegehuis brings supplies and polling equipment to the polls, including this station, Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy
Heather Prahl, an athletic trainer, and her husband Jordan, a Ph.D. candidate who works at the Van Andel Institute, brought their 4-week-old twin boys, Henry and Hector, to their polling station, Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy: ‘Every vote counts,’ Heather said. ‘We’re voting for their future.’
Rachel Bruursema, who works at the nonprofit Partners Relief and Development, voted at Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School: ‘I do think this election is significant. I have a lot of peace about it. I’m glad we can vote. It is an honor.’
Rick Price, an Independent representative for Steel sales, has two grandkids who go to Lakeside Elementary. He voted at Breton Downs Elementary: “Voting is important for the country.”
Rick Price, an independent representative for Steel sales, has two grandkids who go to Lakeside Elementary. He voted at Breton Downs Elementary: ‘Voting is important for the country.’

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Dianne Carroll Burdick
Dianne Carroll Burdick
Dianne Carroll Burdick has worked as a photojournalist in the West Michigan area since 1991. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she has photographed for The Grand Rapids Press, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Detroit Free Press, Advance Newspapers, Grand Rapids Magazine, BLUE Magazine and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting and thought provoking stories of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2016.

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