Vote informed

Election season is in full swing, with primary races for local, state, and federal offices and local August ballot proposals now clear.

Now is the time to start studying.

It’s important to know the candidates and their positions on the issues important to you. It’s important to know candidates’ goals and objectives and motivations. It’s important to know exactly how much a proposed tax renewal or tax hike will cost you and what, precisely, the government will do with that money if they get it.

The News will do its part to help you do that.

Beginning next month, before absentee ballots become available on June 27, The News will run a series of stories profiling every candidate in a competitive race for the August primary and breaking down every proposal that will appear on the August ballot. Those stories will be available in print and online.

But that shouldn’t be the end of your homework.

Seek out candidates’ websites, if they have one, to see what they have to say about the issues and their goals. Ask about the candidates at local party offices. Hopefully, the candidates will at some point knock on your door. Invite them in. Ask them questions. Find out where they stand and how their stance aligns with your own.

Seek out the actual ballot language (it’ll soon be available at Michigan.gov/vote) for local ballot proposals. If you’re unsure what it means, call the government that issued the proposal and ask them to break it down in plain English.

It’s important to arm yourself with as much information as you can so you can cast a well-informed ballot. Come August, you’ll get to help decide your own tax rate and choose the people who could make regular decisions that affect your daily life. You should know all you can before making such decisions.

And vote on Aug. 6 (or beforehand through absentee or early voting). Unfortunately, primary races tend to see significantly lower turnout than general election contests. That’s especially a shame here in Northeast Michigan. With few Democrats on Northeast Michigan ballots, the Republican who wins the primary will likely advance through November unopposed, meaning the real choice for who takes office next year will happen this summer, not this fall.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today