Home Columns Mike’s Musings – It is your civic duty to be an informed voter
Mike’s Musings – It is your civic duty to be an informed voter
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Mike’s Musings – It is your civic duty to be an informed voter

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By Mike Wilcox, Publisher
By Mike Wilcox, Publisher
By Mike Wilcox, Publisher

Mark this date- it’s November 8. No matter what you’re doing. No matter how you feel, you must pull yourself out of that Laz-e-Boy and get to your precinct and cast your ballot. No excuses. It’s your civic duty and like renewing your license plates every year, voting is a must do. It is what a Democracy is all about, and as a citizen of this great nation, it behooves all of us to vote for the individuals we want to lead us for the next several years.

And please don’t go into that booth and pull one lever for either Democrats or Republicans. Voting straight party, to me, is essentially not caring. I implore you to take the time to study the candidates on the ballot for all parties and choose the persons you feel will best represent you, and not the party.

Although there are many uncontested races this year, there are others that are hotly contested, including several ballot propositions. Please study these issues and local candidates and make sure you are well informed before entering the voting area.

Certainly the most heated and most important race is for President of the United States. I have witnessed a lot of presidential campaigns but never have I seen one so filled with vitriol and animosity. I would suggest to all of us, to focus more on the presidential candidates’ platforms and less on their personalities. Once elected it is the policies he or she enacts and not personalities that hopefully take center stage.

Neither Clinton or Trump have impressed any of us as someone we would trust, or even want to consider a friend. But they both won their hotly contested primaries fair and square (well some would say Bernie got duped) and are what we are left with.

Others would say Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate is the best choice, and he may be. He seems more level-headed, has a clearly defined platform appealing to most voters, and has stayed out of harm’s way when it comes to FBI investigations. The only problem with a Johnson vote, is that it will not help determine the next president, thus it is wasted. Johnson will end up with 7 or 8 percent of the popular vote- not enough to do much damage to either Clinton or Trump.

Some of you, including myself, have railed against the Electoral College. As most of us know, the College actually determines are next president and it is possible that one candidate can win the popular vote and the other might win the Electoral College vote. Thus many of us say, why vote, because in reality, our vote is actually meaningless.

There certainly is justification for that thought process, but I would make two points. First, I somehow feel if indeed the popular vote and the Electoral College vote were different, that the Electoral College vote would not be allowed to stand. In the worst case, the Electoral College would be abolished with a constitutional amendment by the next Congress.
Secondly there are so many issues on this year’s ballot above and beyond the presidential vote, that are solely determined by popular vote. Whether you are voting for a county position, a local township position or a state or federal office, all of these candidates and propositions are determined by your vote.

So as good citizens, we’ve got a lot of tough decisions to make this coming Tuesday. The presidential election is important but the local officials, and who you elect for those positions, will have a greater impact on your life than Clinton or Trump. Take the time to get to know these individuals and vote for who you think will represent you best.