Save time at the polls

Michigan State University provides voter resources on ballot issues and more

Michigan State University Extension has prepared a bulletin that provides Michigan residents with non-partisan, objective information about all of the statewide ballot proposals. Download the free bulletin, GE49 “Statewide Ballot Proposals 2012” from the MSU Extension bookstore.

Michigan voters will want to prepare before they go to the polls this November, as the 2012 Michigan ballot will be a hefty one. The Presidential race will generate high voter turnout and the numerous state and local initiatives may cause voters to spend precious time reviewing the ballot issues inside the booth. Therefore, voters are encouraged to plan ahead and familiarize themselves with their local ballot. The voter resources described below should help people make up their minds before pulling the voting curtain closed on Nov. 6.

To help make sense of the six statewide ballot initiatives, Michigan State University Extension has published a bulletin entitled 2012 Ballot Proposals. It provides a balanced discussion of both sides of each issue. In addition, MSU Extension is hosting several public forums around the state where residents can talk about the issues with each other and ask questions of Michigan State University experts. More in-depth information about the proposals is also available from Citizens Research Council and the House Fiscal Agency has provided a financial analysis of proposals 4, 5 and 6.

An excellent resource to become familiar with the local ballot is available from MLive. The Michigan Voter Guide enables residents from around the state to see what the ballot in their precinct will look like, fill it out and print it to be able to take it with them to the polls. The Michigan Secretary of State also provides election information. Voters insert their name and address and can obtain a sample ballot. Information about precinct locations and other helpful resources exist on their MIVOTE webpage.

Familiarizing yourself with the ballot will make your time in the voting more efficient, reducing the surprises that could result from seeing, for example, the opportunity to vote for a University of Michigan Regent—even if you live 300 miles from Ann Arbor. Study the people and issues carefully, ensuring there is time to review the qualifications of the candidates and the pros and cons of the ballot issues. Informed residents result in a representative government.

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