Today is November 1st.
What does this mean, other than the fact that fall is flying by and we are getting closer each day to the dreaded cold weather and early morning frost that begs to be scraped from the car windows at 8 a.m.? It means that tomorrow- Tuesday, November 2nd- is election day, of course!
Now I realize that I am of the rare breed of people that count down to election day the way most do for their holiday of choice; but I think that looking forward to election day- even the less glamourous mid-term election- should not be a rarity.
First of all, elections are important. Election day is our opportunity, as citizens of a democratic nation, to exercise our right to vote and play an active role in choosing the government we will abide by for the upcoming term. There are often a lot of complaints directed around one’s lack of choices when voting for an elected official, however I feel that not a valid reason to downplay the significance of casting a vote. While there may not always be an individual’s ideal candidate on the ballot, there are always differences among those running that can be used to determine who will be the better fit for the community in which you are a part of. It all comes down to learning about what the candidates stand for, determining which platform will better serve your community, and then holding that elected official accountable for their actions in office.
Now, I understand that politics, in some ways, has become more about which political hopeful is the loudest, and not enough about listening to the constituents, but who is to say that cannot be changed? I feel that the more active we, as citizens, become in the process, the more the candidates will be forced to put the mudslinging aside and present some real issues to the voting public. If we are putting the time and energy into learning about the issues at hand, asking tough questions about these issues to those bidding for our vote, and then turning out to support our candidate of choice (or in some cases turning out to oppose those we cannot fathom representing us) then the “game of politics” is in our hands.
It is just so hard for me, especially as a woman, to take the responsibility of voting lightly when I know how hard women of the past had to fight to gain this right. Not to mention that I find it exhilarating to be a part of positive change; and I know that I am not alone in wanting to see Michigan at its best! Tomorrow we have the opportunity to change the face of our great state, and the great City of Lansing, and be an important part of history. So let’s come out in droves and reclaim election day as one that is full of positive energy, anticipation and optimisitc potential for change. I’ll see you at the polls!
To find out where your polling location is, visit https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/mivote/.
For a listing of candidates running in your area, ballot initiatives, candidate bios/voting history, etc., visit Project Vote Smart.
For a complete voter’s guide for the state of Michigan, I encourage you to check out The League of Women Voters’ 2010 Nonpartisan Voter Guides.