Writer’s Name: S.F. Hardy
Title: Free to Know Before You Go
When I sit back and observe my family’s election day process of yesteryear and compare and contrast it to our process of today, one of several big things jumps out at me. Secrecy! When I was a child, although my grandmother and parents would take us to the polls with them to vote, they never spoke a word out loud who or what they were voting for. Today, it is common place to blab your stance and your chosen candidate every chance you get. While I would like for who and what I vote for to remain private amongst me, myself and I, I definitely think that making people conscious of what is at stake is important.
As the 2012 presidential election grows nearer, there are local elections in each of our states, cities and townships that are very much understated in the media and they go by the name of proposals. In Detroit, Michigan alone, voters are expected to be bombarded by a four page ballot consisting of 18 proposals. Leaders and citizens active in the civic process are concerned that many voters will become overwhelmed while at the poles due to the extent of the ballot if they are not informed before hitting the polls. As a result, many informational rallies are taking place to make individuals aware of what to expect on Election Day, as well as encourage people to assist the elderly and those who have trouble reading and understanding the ballot proposals. Many of us have been passing out literature and talking to people at various events hoping to educate people on the importance of voting in this election.
Many of the proposed agendas include issues such as: giving the state the power to implement emergency managers in financially troubled municipalities; disregarding the rights of the people’s voting voices; collective bargaining for public service workers including but not limited to police and teachers; improving energy costs at the cost of the people and to be written in the constitution; decreasing adverse effects of marijuana laws for personal possession in the privacy of one’s home. All and so much will have a direct effect on the people. It is imperative that people know before they go to the polls what they are up against. It will be severe if people just shaded in bubbles for sake of shading so that they can hurry and leave the polls. All of our futures are at stake and we want people to make educated decisions when voting.
While many people have missed Michigan’s October 9th deadline to become registered voters for the upcoming election, we want to encourage them to participate in the process by ensuring people get to the polls by ride sharing. Offer assistance at the polls by helping voters read and understand the ballots. For the computer savvy folk, there are websites tailored to assist you with finding the information needed to prepare you for the polls as well as help you locate your voting destination, along with phone numbers to report polling problems. Be engaged in the process; don’t let anyone take away the voice you have. If we all take part, our voices will be loud and clear. Vote! But know before you go!