It is your civic duty to be an informed voter

Mark this date- it’s November 6. No matter what you’re doing. No matter how you feel, you must pull yourself out of that easy chair and get to your precinct to cast your ballot. It is what Democracy is all about, and as a citizen of this great nation, it is your civic duty, to vote for those individuals you want to lead us.

And please don’t go into that booth, and pull one lever for either Democrats or Republicans. Voting straight party, to me, is essentially, not caring.  Take the time to study the candidates in both parties and choose the best person, not the best party.

And don’t forget to place your vote for the ballot propositions on the ballot. Although there are local issues, like the RESD millage, the statewide proposals are getting the most publicity. I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked my opinion on these issues. I can’t remember when a statewide proposal received so much play- and on our ballot Tuesday, we have six issues receiving a great deal of attention.

Heck, I read the other day that Proposal 6- that be the proposal to build a second bridge from Detroit to Canada, has seen nearly $10,000,000 in advertising funds come from one individual- Manny Maroun, the owner of the Ambassador Bridge, who sees a second bridge hurting his business. That is more money than the two candidates for Governor spent in 2010.

From the top of the ballot, to the bottom, there are so many interesting races this year. President Obama and Governor Romney are deadlocked going into the final weekend before the election. As I pointed out last week, we might see Romney winning the popular vote, but Obama being declared president for a second term, because he was able to garner the 270 Electoral College votes necessary.

I don’t think Pete Hoekstra has put up much of a challenge to Clare’s own Debbie Stabenow, our current U.S. Senator. I suspect she will win by a landslide. The same with incumbents, Dave Camp, our U.S. congressman, and Joel Johnson, our state representative- their opponents haven’t mounted much of a challenge.

The County races- sheriff, prosecutor, clerk, road commission, county commission have proven to be interesting. In particular Mark McClellan has worked very hard in an attempt to unseat incumbent Sheriff John Wilson. Jon Ringelberg also has mounted a serious challenge to Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis. It will be interesting to see who prevails Tuesday.

Then there is the race for Probate Judge. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen two candidates work as hard as Marcy Klaus and Tara Hovey, for this position. I think either would make an excellent judge and it’s a shame one will have to go back to lawyering once a winner is declared on Tuesday. Judge Roy Mienk’s circuit court position is also being challenged by local attorney, Ghazey Aleck.

So as good citizens, we’ve got a lot of tough decisions to make this Tuesday. I haven’t even mentioned the local township races, or the Supreme Court justices, that will also be on the ballot. Some of us will be voting for additional funds for ambulance service. In Vernon Township, voters will say yea or nay to additional mills for road improvements. The list goes on and on.

Voting for the top dog, Obama or Romney is important, but I implore you not to forget the other positions. County and township elected officials and proposals will have a greater impact on your personal life, than the guy in the oval office. Take the time to get to know these local individuals and vote for who you think is best.