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Election Day 2018: Making the Most of Your Vote in Michigan

Michigan voters have three Proposals to decide on the November ballot, including two that could impact future elections. (Tim Evanson/Flickr)
Michigan voters have three Proposals to decide on the November ballot, including two that could impact future elections. (Tim Evanson/Flickr)
October 15, 2018

LANSING, Mich. — Election Day is just three weeks away, and with so much at stake, Michigan voters are encouraged to ensure they're fully prepared when they cast their ballots.

For more than 100 years, Michiganders were able to vote “straight ticket,” choosing all the candidates of a single party by selecting one arrow at the top of the ballot. Lisa Dedden Cooper, manager of advocacy with AARP Michigan, said that option is no longer available after a recent court decision.

"This year when people vote, everyone will need to mark their ballot individually for each candidate they want to vote for,” Dedden said. “The concern is that we're likely to see confusion and longer lines as a result."

She added there will be a lot to decide on the November 6 ballot, including candidates for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, U.S. House and Senate, and all seats at the Michigan Statehouse. There are also three statewide measures on the ballot.

Proposal 1 would legalize recreational marijuana for people ages 21 and over. Proposal 2 would amend the state Constitution to create a new commission to re-draw Michigan's congressional and state legislative districts when the Census comes out every 10 years. And, Cooper explained, Proposal 3 would add several voting-rights provisions to the Michigan Constitution, including same-day voter registration.

"It would allow voters to choose to vote absentee without giving a reason; and it would allow same-day voter registration; and it would restore that straight-ticket voting option,” she said.

Cooper said AARP has sponsored events around the state to ensure voters are well prepared with the information they need.

"We've also got a video voter tip series on our AARP Michigan Facebook page,” Cooper said. “So, we invite people to watch those videos for more tips on how you can make the most of your vote on Election Day."

Cooper encourages voters not to wait until the last minute to do their homework, and to view a sample ballot online at Michigan.gov/vote.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI