GUEST COLUMN: Voting is power. Use it.
In a democracy, each voter has a voice in how government works. Sometimes that voice is expressed directly, e.g., through voting for library or school funding. At other times that voice is expressed indirectly through elected officials.
In 2022, the citizens of Michigan will elect officials who will represent them on the national, state and local levels. These elected officials will represent voters when decisions are made on legislation and policies that affect everything from the national economy to signage on local school buildings.
Historically, voters have not been as motivated to cast ballots during midterm elections. However, voting for officials who will lead our state, county and city is just as important as voting for officials who will lead our country. Local officials make decisions that impact our daily lives and our communities.
What will be on your ballot? Voters will cast ballots for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, representative in Congress, the State Board of Education, university boards, judicial candidates, state senator, state representative, county commissioner, city commissioner, school board and ballot proposals.
Prepare to Vote
Are you registered to vote at your current address? Do you want to request an absentee ballot? You can register to vote, check your voter registration status, request an absentee ballot and find answers to all your voting questions at the Michigan Voter Information Center.
If you don’t have access to the internet, call or visit your city or township clerk for assistance. The public library (989) 773-3242 can help you locate the phone number for your township clerk.
Be an Informed Voter
Information about candidates and ballot initiatives should be obtained from an unbiased source. The League of Women Voters (LWV), a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, publishes a Nonpartisan Voter Guide. LWV contacts all candidates running for office to elicit responses to biographical questions and questions about issues. The print guide will be available near the end of September. The digital guide is available at VOTE411.org.
If you choose to vote in person, polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. If you choose to vote absentee, return your ballot as soon as possible. Your ballot must be in the hands of the clerk at the close of the polls, and postmark dates don’t count. You can track your ballot online.