News and Opinions Editor
Voting is a crucial part of our country’s history. Voting can change laws, who is leading the country and taxes. It impacts local, regional and national government. Without accurate voter representation, our country’s citizens would have no voice in our government. Our country has dramatically changed since the writing of the constitution, which states that every man, who was white, can vote. Our country has the Voting Rights Act, which ensures that every person, regardless of ethnicity and gender, can vote. If you are an American citizen over 18, then it is your right to vote.
In present day, people are either too lazy or too apathetic toward our government to even get to the voting booth on election day. According to FairVote.org, only 60 percent of eligible voters showed up to the polls in the 2016 presidential election, an election that was very controversial given the candidates. In other countries such as Australia and Belgium, their voter turnout comes to 90 percent of eligible voters on election day. The 30 percent of people we are missing at the polls in 2016 could’ve changed the course of history.
Even if you can’t physically make it to the polls on Nov. 6, you can always request an absentee ballot. Whether you are far away from your polling booth due to being away at college, or just don’t want to stand in long lines, an absentee ballot is an option. The ballot is easy to fill out and all you have to do is mail it in. Remember your postage.
Michigan Proposals & Candidates
In Michigan’s upcoming midterm, the state has three new proposals this election cycle. The proposal that is getting the most news coverage is the legalization of recreational marijuana. If this proposal goes through, those over 21 can legally purchase, consume and possess marijuana. This proposal also would ensure that the recreation of marijuana be taxed, so our state can benefit from the monetary value of marijuana.
This midterm election is important not only to our state, but to our country. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for re-election. This race would affect the partisan control of the House. At the moment, the Republican party has control of the house, controlling 235 seats compared to the Democratic minority of 193 seats.
The two candidates running in the 8th district, which includes some parts of Oakland County (including Rochester College), Livingston and Ingham Counties are Mike Bishop and Elissa Slotkin. Bishop was elected to the House by the 8th district in 2014. He is running under the Republican party ticket. Bishop supports ideas such as water quality, child safety and fighting the opioid epidemic. Elissa Slotkin is a former CIA analyst, who served three tours in Iraq. She supports common sense gun legislation, affordable healthcare, and strengthening our country’s security.
In my personal opinion, I find Elissa Slotkin to be the best candidate for the district I belong in. She is poised, honest and listens to citizen’s issues. Her campaign is centered around bipartisanship, something that our congress and president have forgotten about. Our congress and our president often seem to be split and more focused on attacking the other party. Often, representatives side with a PAC or a lobbying organization. Slotkin has said that she is not taking any corporate or PAC money and is not siding with any other Democratic leaders. She is unique in the sense that she is going against the normal political way of doing things and is more concerned with her constituents and less concerned about money. I also find that she has only one commercial attacking Bishop’s vote to end the Affordable Health Care act, while Bishop and Republican PACs have spent lots of money on attack ads. Overall, I find her to be the best candidate.
This election cycle is not only important for congress, but also for our state’s governor race. Republican Bill Schuette is running against Democrat Gretchen Whitmer. Whitmer’s key issues she stands by include paid family leave, quality public education, affordable healthcare, safe roads, and repealing the retirement tax. Schuette’s priorities if elected governor include increasing our economy, quality public education, cutting auto insurance rates, and ending the opioid crisis to name a few. These two candidates have similar issues, but will execute them through a Republican or Democratic lens.
In my opinion, I find Gretchen Whitmer to be the best candidate for governor. I feel that like Elissa, she is honest and poised. She cares about every citizen in our state and what is best for the citizens inhabiting Michigan. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Schuette’s long history of exploiting wedge issues like gay marriage, transgender identity, and abortion, combined with his ongoing fealty to the most divisive figure in American politics, makes him an especially inappropriate choice for that difficult assignment.” To be a leader in our government, no matter your background or religious views, supporting equality overall is important. Schuette fails to do this. Also aligning himself with our president, who continues to exploit minorities and women, should not be the face of the state of Michigan.
In conclusion, go out and exercise your right to vote! In some countries such as Zimbabwe, their country simply cannot afford to hold the voting process, or in Saudi Arabia, where women cannot vote at all. As an American citizen, you should feel blessed with your right to vote as well as the means to do so. So go head to the polls on Nov. 6 and help change our state and country.
Other helpful links: