As the 2022 mid-term elections loom closer and closer, we’re again inundated with mass amounts of political advertising. Whether it be smear campaigns before your YouTube videos or texts asking for donations to “save America from eminent peril,” they’re out in full swing.
While I believe everyone should get out on Nov. 8 and vote, or make plans to vote ahead of time, I also believe you should change the channel. Mute your phone, ignore the social media posts from politicians and do your own independent research on their positions and the ballot measures we’ll be voting on.
If you’re a Michigan voter, you’ll see six candidate pairs for governor and lieutenant governor, candidates for secretary of state, attorney general and various other offices depending on your jurisdiction.
The people that we elect work for us. Our tax dollars pay their salaries. I believe it’s more than worth it to take some time and learn their positions to ensure that the candidates you’re voting for align with your values. You also need to know the full story, which is something you’ll never get from these rosy pieces of noise pollution.
The Michigan Voter Information Center, a Department of the State branch, has an online “What’s on the ballot?” tool to show you what you’ll see on your ballot. You’ll input information about your location, which can all be found on the Michigan state voter registration card, and it will show off all of the races you’ll be voting on.
Now get to researching. The majority of candidates in national, state and even sometimes local elections will often have a website outlining their positions on a myriad of current major issues and details how they want to go about fixing them. This allows you to get your information right from the source.
Look up their history. If they have been in politics before, check out their voting history, see if they have sat on any commissions or committees you care about and make sure you feel they’d be making choices in your best interests.
Also, read through all the ballot measures and research what they mean for their respective positions. While you’ll get a description on your ballot, it’ll be short, sweet and very quick to the point because of the lacking room they have to get into the detail you need to make an informed decision.
You deserve to know the full story when you are filling in the bubbles on your ballot. Media pacts, political parties and spokespeople will not give you the full story on their own. You’ll have to do a little work to get the full picture, but this is work worth doing.
The publication date of this paper marks 41 days until the November General Election and 37 days left to request an absentee ballot. Get registered, do your research, tune out the white noise of political ads and make a plan to vote. We cannot sit idly; we must be active participants in our democracy.