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Categorized | City Hall Corner, News

Vote Vote Vote

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

In the recent November 2019 election, voter turnout in the City of Cedar Springs was 19.34 percent and I know we can do better than that.  I won’t bore you with an argument about voting being a civic duty and simply say that voting is now easier than ever in Michigan. The voters of Michigan overwhelmingly passed Proposal 3 of 2018 by a 66.9 percent to 33.1 percent tally. That proposal enshrined several voting policies into the state constitution. Some of these voting policies were long-held practices that theoretically could have been revoked by action of the State government. Those rights are now irrevocable because they are written into the constitution. These rights include the right to use secret ballots and the right of military members to receive absentee ballots 45 days before the election. 

Other changes written into the proposal included the right to audit elections, extending the times that people can register to vote, making voter registration an opt-out option when getting a driver’s license or state-ID card and reinstituting the straight-ticket voting option that was outlawed by the State government in 2015.

What I think is the most exciting part of the changes included with Proposal 3, however, is the no-excuse absentee voting for 40 days before an election. Absentee voting used to be only available to persons who were 60 years or older, persons who would be out of town on election day or persons who were physically incapable of voting due to disability, religious tenet or incarceration. The new no-excuse absentee voting means you can skip the lines at the precinct if you hate waiting in lines and you don’t have to get time off from work to do it. It means you can fill out the ballot at home with your computer to look up the candidates you are considering voting for or what experts think about a particular millage proposal. It also means that you can pin the ballot to a board and vote by dart, put it on the ground and vote by “jumping to conclusions,” or vote with the assistance of 2018’s Proposal 1, not that I would recommend any of those options. 

The truth of the matter is that decisions are made by those who show up.  Voting is having your voice heard and directing the policies of your local, state and federal government. Starkly put, elections have consequences and your vote really does count.

If you have questions about the City of Cedar Springs’ elections or if you’d like to discuss absentee voting in the City please contact the City Clerk at clerk@cityofcedarsprings.org or by phone at 616-696-1330.

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