Take 10 and vote Tuesday

A long, long time ago, our ancestors fought for our rights to vote as Americans, as minorities, and as women.
May 5, 2014

Yet, as each year goes by, it seems that fewer and fewer people exercise that right. That duty is lost somewhere between dropping the kids off at school and the mad evening rush to pull all the pieces of life together.

But this Tuesday, May 6, carve just 10 minutes from your busy life to cast your ballot.  That is all the time it takes.

Why this election?

Because there are four ballot issues of local importance that could have significant impact on your tax rates and your children’s education. Combined, the total price tag for all four issues is just shy of $100 million.

Grand Haven Area Public Schools seeks two separate bond proposals — one for technology improvements, roof replacements, site improvements and buses; another for remodeling and construction work for athletic facilities, performing arts and cafeterias.

Spring Lake Public Schools is back to the voters after a November ballot defeat. The district’s leaders reached out to community members and retooled the proposal, essentially dividing it into two separate issues. The first is focused on construction and remodeling; the second geared toward athletic facilities.

As you can see, this is an important election.

Before you vote for or against the levies, we urge you to arm yourself with information. Our special elections website is located at www.grandhaventribune.com/elections and has all the news articles and letters to the editors to help you make your decision.

Then, please, vote.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

Jason

Regardless of what city/township/village you live in and regardless of how you are going to vote, my hope is you will exercise your right to vote. This is a great privilege we have and should never be taken for granted. Also, no matter how the vote goes, please be gracious in defeat or victory.

I truly feel blest to live in the Tri-Cities area.

Vladtheimp

Nice sentiment but these days a significant number of people do not hold voting to be as important as boarding an airplane, buying a six pack, or doing the many things in daily life that require one to produce a Photo ID and prove who you are. Democrats have fought the requirement to show a Photo ID to vote in every case it has been required claiming it disenfranchises people - although they seem perfectly capable of producing a Photo-ID to buy some Thunderbird, board a plane, vote in a union election, cash a government check, own a car, etc. ad nauseum.

Freddo

Unsurprisingly, many of the people who would be disenfranchised are exactly the sort of people who don't own a car, much less travel by airplane. The number of people who would lose the right to vote under mandatory ID schemes far exceeds the incidence of in-person voter fraud.

Vladtheimp

How about some statistics from a reliable source about people who don't have access to an ID yet live in this society that requires ID for so many things except voting.

bigdeal

lol Vlad...your papers please!!! Nazi

Lanivan

"Traditionally, voters have had to register at government offices to vote, but in the mid-1990s efforts were made by the federal government to make registering easier, in an attempt to increase turnout. The most prominent example of these efforts was the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the "Motor Voter" law, which forced state governments to make the voter registration process easier by providing uniform registration services through drivers' license registration centers, disability centers, schools, libraries, and mail-in registration. Some states allow Election Day voter registration, where voters can register at polling places immediately prior to voting. The following states, having implemented same-day registration, are exempt from "Motor Voter" mandates: Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In other states, voters must register by a certain amount of time before the election. Political parties and other organizations sometimes hold voter registration drives, organized efforts to register groups of new voters.

An increasing number of states have begun to allow voter registration to take place entirely online. As of April 2014, online voter registration is currently available in 16[15] states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington, with a further four states (Hawaii, Illinois, Nebraska, and West Virginia) in the process of implementing online voter registration". Wiki.

What's the big problem with the current GOP? Back when they were the Congressional majority in both Houses in the 1990's, they were all about increasing and encouraging voter participation. Heck, George Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 but was appointed president by the conservative Supreme Court, which many people view as being a fraudulent voting outcome.

Study after study shows that there is no evidence of appreciable fraudulent voting. So reason tells us that fraudulent voting is not the motivation behind Voter ID laws, but attempting to infringe on citizens right to vote is.

To paraphrase Paul Weyrich, the father of the right wing, Republicans win when fewer people vote.

Vladtheimp

How about some statistics from a reliable source about people who don't have access to an ID yet live in this society that requires ID for so many things except voting.

Lanivan

How about some statistics from a reliable source that provides evidence of significant voter fraud. And while you're at it, how about addressing the fact that Republicans have made a 180 degree pivot since the 1990's when they encouraged voting, rather than currently spending taxpayer money passing legislation making it harder to vote?

And why isn't voting fraud a problem in the many states that offer online voting, early voting, and increased hours for voting? And why is it only in Republican states that seem to really, really, need to suppress votes?

Vladtheimp

The issue at hand is whether democrats support the idea that voting is of critical importance when they oppose voters proving who they are through a Photo ID even though such ID is required for so many other activities in life. They even oppose it when a state offers to provide a Photo-ID free of charge.

Although democrats often use the argument that "if even 1 x,y, or z is impacted, it is too many" or "worth the expenditures to correct it" in the case of voter fraud they are not just silent, but close their eyes. e.g.

Over 40,000 People Are Registered to Vote in Both Virginia and Maryland http://townhall.com/tipsheet/hea...

Huge Potential for Voter Fraud in North Carolina - "The review found that 35,570 North Carolina voters from 2012 shared the same first names, last names, and dates of birth with individuals who voted in other states. Another 765 Tar Heel State residents who voted in 2012 had the the same names, birthdays, and final four digits of a Social Security number as voters elsewhere." National Review but multiple sources.

If voting is so important to democrats, even though they fight against Photo-ID, one would think they would at least support going through the voter rolls and purging names of people who have died, moved out of state, been sent to prison, are illegal aliens, etc. but one would be wrong - democrats (led by the Obama/Holder Department of Injustice) fight purging the rolls of ineligible voters across the country -

Makes a rational person wonder - hmmmm?

Lanivan

There are already laws in place to direct local municipalities to clean up and purge errors from registries. Well-managed voting committees should be able to catch and correct in-between voting periods.

I don't think anybody advocates for voting registries that are honestly full of errors, duplications, and fraudulent information. But some of the Republican states are just so sleazy and incompetent about it...

"A federal court ruled Tuesday that Gov. Rick Scott’s effort to remove non-citizens from the state’s voter rolls several weeks shy of the 2012 presidential election was illegal.

The voter purge, which was eventually halted by local election officials in Florida before that 2012 election, has been fraught with problems. For one, the state’s list of suspected non-citizens was error-ridden and included names of many actual U.S. Citizens, including war veterans.

Civil rights groups also filed lawsuits against the state because the purge disproportionately targeted minorities.

Ultimately, the court ruled that the timing in particular, was the most problematic aspect of the purge, because it violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)."

http://fcir.org/2014/04/02/feder...

And then there's the conservative, activist SCOTUS 5-4 ruling that overruled decades of precedent....

"Within 24 hours of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the law requiring nine states to submit voting law changes to the federal government for pre-clearance, five* are already moving ahead with voter ID laws, some of which had already been rejected as discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/fr...

How's about quit pussy-footin' around and let me in on why the voting philosophy promoted in the '90's by Republicans is now strictly off-limits, with hundreds of millions of taxpayer money going towards a total reversal??

Lanivan

Dum-de-dum-de-dum....Vlad?.....crickets.....still holding on to your horses?......

LittleSwed

One interesting twist to our right to vote is a legal opinion from our Michigan Attorney General office. That opinion prohibits the use of school resources and funds to persuade the public to vote yes or no. They are certainly allowed to educate the public about the specifics of a proposed school bond proposal. A thin line indeed. You can read Opinion NO# 5597 at the Attorney General opinion web site.

GH55

If we were really interested in full democracy in this country we would require voting. We would make it as easy as possible to vote. Why is it only one day? Why isn't it a holiday? Why can't I do it on line? Our entire banking system is on line and electronic, we should be able to figure this out. Polling places are constantly changing! Why is there not full mail in voting?
Again, if we say we live in a democracy, prove it! Make it a requirement to participate, and make it easy to do! Oregon & Washington have no polling places. Its all mail in ballots.
None of these new laws make things more secure, it just makes it more inconvenient!

Straightjacket

I don't think it's a good idea to let everyone vote. Have you ever seen Jay walking with Jay Leno? The streets are full of idiots, why on earth would you ever want them to vote??

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