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Election Day is About More Than the President

Jennifer Smith

By Jennifer Smith, MASB Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, Nov. 2, 2016

As you are all well aware, Election Day is less than a week away. That means an end to the phone calls, political advertisements and mailings! But in your relief, don’t forget the real reason for the day—VOTING!

Many times, people are weary of all of the ads, news coverage and conversation and decide it’s just not worth it. Maybe you don’t like your choices at the top of the ballot. Maybe you just feel like your vote doesn’t matter anyway. You couldn’t be more wrong.

While the daily coverage of the election focuses on the next person in the White House, there are many other important questions on the ballot. The entire Michigan House of Representatives is up for election this year and, due to term limits, more than one-third of those elected will be brand new. Michigan’s 14 U.S. Representatives are also on the ballot. Two seats on the State Board of Education, as well as two each for the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Michigan State University Boards of Regents are up for election.

Getting tired? Don’t quit yet, all of your local races follow the statewide offices. Your local races could include countywide offices such as prosecutor or sheriff, and city or township races such as mayor or township supervisor.

Finally, after all that you’ll find your local school board race. Depending on the length of your ballot, it’ll be on the bottom or possibly on the back. Any local ballot questions, such as millage renewals, bond requests or sinking fund questions will follow the school board race.

There’s no rule that you have to start at the top of the ballot and fill it out in order. The bottom of the ballot is just as important as the top. Vote for those questions and races that matter to you the most—that may just be the last ones like the school board and local tax questions.

You can view your sample ballot before you head to the polls on Tuesday. And remember, the only bad vote you can make is choosing to stay home.

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