2016-11-02 / Editorial

Don’t abdicate your right to vote

We’re somewhat bemused by the “Vote for Nobody” signs we’ve seen around Lapeer leading into next week’s election. We’re not sure if the signs are meant as a protest aimed at the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates at the top of the ticket who share historically low voter approval or a tongue-in-cheek comment on the voter vitriol those candidates have generated. Or is it a call to anarchy and repudiation of our democratic process?

Whatever the intended message, we hope and believe the vast majority of registered voters in Lapeer County will ignore the advice and turn out at the polls to cast their vote next Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Our right to vote for the candidates of our choice, and to vote in favor of or against ballot proposals, is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy, society and culture. It is a right for which many brave Americans have fought, and for which many have died, to protect and preserve. Indeed, we would say voting transcends a right and is an obligation of being a good citizen of our communities and our country.

Regardless of how you may feel about the presidential candidates in this election, playing a part in the selection of the next leader of the free world is a awesome responsibility and not to taken lightly. It is a responsibility every qualified voter should approach with care, armed with knowledge of the candidates and issues.

A voter’s selection for president is the just the beginning.

Across Lapeer County, voters will be asked to cast their ballot to fill offices for U.S. Representative in Congress for Michigan’s 10th congressional district, State Representative for Michigan’s 82nd District, Lapeer County Prosecuting Attorney, Judge of Lapeer County’s Circuit Court and one of our county’s Road Commission seats.

Countywide, voters will also be asked to decide millage proposals to fund our county’s Dept. of Veterans Affairs and to establish a countywide emergency medical (ambulance) service.

In various townships and villages around the county voters will choose township supervisors, clerks, treasurers, trustees, village presidents and council members and vote on local millage proposals.

Voters in Lapeer, Almont and North Branch school districts in Lapeer County will vote for school board candidates and decide school millage issues in Imlay City and North Branch.

Additionally, Lapeer County voters will help set the course of K-12 and higher education in Michigan by voting for members for the State Board of Education, regents for the University of Michigan, trustees for Michigan State University and governors for Wayne State University.

Voters have both heard and talked about the historic nature of this presidential race. But we must not ignore the importance of the down ticket races and proposals, particularly those that most directly affect our own communities, schools and quality of life.

The County Press published an extensive Voter Guide to local candidates and issues in the Insight section of our Sunday, Oct. 30 edition. As a public service, effective this morning, we are making that Voter Guide available online with free access for all. For everyone planning to vote — and those who are registered but have not yet decided whether they would cast a ballot — we suggest you go online to www.mihomepaper.com and click on The County Press link. You’ll find the Voter Guide link on our County Press homepage.

Don’t abdicate your right to vote. And don’t ignore your responsibility to be informed when you head to the polls.

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