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Midterm Elections: The Important Information You’ll Need

Molly Lamb and Katie Moore

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Midterm elections are today, meaning 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for re-election.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow is up for re-election this year against Republican John James, Marcia Squier (Green party), John Howard Wilhelm (Natural Law), and George Huffman III (U.S. Taxpayers). 

“[Voting in the midterms] is [important] as far as the makeup of Congress, because if the President and Congress are both of the same party, then nothing is going to change,” voter and teacher Melissa McIntosh says. “Hopefully there’ll be more representation of people and what people want, instead of just people who get elected because of the amount of money that they raised.”

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is leaving office this year. The candidates for Michigan Governor are Republican Bill Schuette, Gretchen Whitmer (D), Jennifer Kurland (G), and Libertarian Bill Gelineau.

Proposal 1 is the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. This makes marijuana use and possession legal under state and local law for adults 21 years of age or older. This act also controls commercial production and distribution of marijuana under a system that licenses, regulates, and taxes the businesses involved.

“From an economic standpoint, [the legalization of marijuana] could bring in a lot of tax dollars if people could buy it legally and businesses could sell it and it could be regulated,” McIntosh says. “I think that could be beneficial for the state.”

Proposal 2, a proposition to amend the Michigan Constitution, is also on this year’s ballot. This proposal aims to end partisan gerrymandering. Passage of this amendment would transfer the authority to draw Congressional and State Legislative district lines from the Legislature and Governor to an independent commission.

“[The district lines] will actually be drawn fairly and with public input, so [this is] definitely something that needs to happen,” McIntosh says.

Proposal 3 includes multiple issues, including straight-ticket voting, automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting, auditing election results, secret ballot use and more. Straight-ticket voting enables the voter to select one party’s complete list of candidates for every office. Automatic voter registration will register eligible voters by default. Same-day voter registration enables voters to register and vote at the same time. No-excuse absentee voting allows any edible voter to cast an absentee ballot. Active military members or overseas citizens would receive at least 45 days before the election. Auditing of election results would mean that there could be a review or assessment of the election results. A secret ballot would give the voter anonymity in their election choices. This also means that there would be no possibility of influence or blackmail to sway voters.

Many students at CHS express frustration in not being able to vote in this election. “I wish there was some other way that we could [truly] affect government that’s not voting,” Matthew Rohlman, a senior at CHS, says.

Yet others believe that the constant news cycle is a lot to take in. Zack Handloser, another senior, says that he’s “taking a step back” from politics. “Maybe if I could vote, I’d pay more attention,” he adds.

“For the upcoming election I feel the need to voice an opinion that says that our country is not going in the direction I would like to see it go in,” McIntosh says, “I think a lot of people feel the same way so I’m hoping that people make their voices known by going to vote.”

“For the upcoming election I feel the need to voice an opinion that says that our country is not going in the direction I would like to see it go in,” McIntosh says, “I think a lot of people feel the same way, so I’m hoping that people make their voices known by going to vote.”

For more information about voting, check out this link. 

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