Last night, I told you how I intend to vote on Michigan’s six state-wide ballot proposals. And, tonight, my plan, if I can keep from falling asleep, is to tell you what I think about all of the races for elected office, and the local proposals that we’ll be voting on in Ypsilanti.
Before we get started, though, here are a few quick things.
1. If you’re registered to vote in Ypsilanti, you can find your sample ballot here. I intend to print a copy, mark it up, and take it with me tomorrow, and I’d suggest that you do so as well. Given that there are three pages of items that need to be voted on, I think the lines are going to be moving very slowly tomorrow. And, as that’s the case, I think it will really help if those of us who are reading this now, come prepared to vote quickly and move along. If just 20 of us go into the voting booth knowing how we want to vote on every issue, and don’t have to read each and every ballot proposal, it could save over an hour of “booth time,” and that could easily translate to one more person staying in line and voting, rather than walking away in disgust at the prospect of a torturously long wait.
2. Given the fact that this is a presidential election year, and we’ve got a three-page ballot to contend with, lines, as I stated above, will be long, and many of us, no doubt, will be forced to wait outside, in the cold. Plan for that eventuality. Dress warmly, and, if you’re a person who requires food, take a fried egg in your pocket, or some other kind of snack with you. I don’t know that it’s the case, but I imagine that folks who walk away from their polling places, saying that the’ll come back later, when the lines are shorter, more often than not, don’t. So, come prepared to stay, and, if you’re in a position to do so, consider bringing snacks for others in line, comic books to share, etc. If just a few of us can convince someone to stay who might otherwise leave, it could make a big difference.
3. Be happy. Voting is the most awesome thing in the world. And, if you can, take your kids. It’s an incredible opportunity to introduce them to the democratic process… or at least what’s left of it.
4. As Michigan is heavily favored to go Democrat, I don’t imagine we’ll see orchestrated, widespread attempts at election fraud, like our friends in Ohio and Florida are likely to experience, but we should always be on the lookout for any procedural improprieties and interference with voter rights, and we should be prepared, when appropriate, to document and share such instances. If you should happen to see anything that doesn’t look right, or if you are told that you cannot vote, you can contact the nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition at either 1-866-OUR-VOTE (administered by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law), or 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota (administered by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund).
5. And, if you don’t already know where your polling place is, and you’re registered to vote in Michigan, you can find out here.
And now for the fun stuff… Here are the folks that I’d like to see win tomorrow. I should add that I’m more enthusiastic about some of these folks than others, but I guess that goes without saying (In particular, I wish I could vote for a County Commissioner that I was at least somewhat excited about.)
U.S. House of Representatives
12th: John Dingell
I also support:
7th: Kurt Haskell
11th: Syed Taj
14th: Gary Peters
Michigan House of Representatives
54th: David Rutledge
I also support:
52nd: Adam Zemke
53rd: Jeff Irwin
55th: Gretchen Driskill
State Board of Education
University of Michigan Regent
Shauna Ryder Diggs
Michigan State University Trustee
Wayne State University Governor
Sandra Hughes O’Brien
Washtenaw County Prosecutor
Brian L. Mackie
Washtenaw County Sheriff
Jerry L. Clayton
Washtenaw County Clerk
Washtenaw County Treasurer
Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner
6th: Ronnie Peterson
I also support:
3rd: Wesley Prater
4th: Felicia Brabec
5th: Rolland Sizemore
7th: Andy LaBarre
8th: Yousef Rabhi
9th: Conan Smith
Ypsilanti City Council
3rd: Pete Murdock
I also support:
1st: Lois Richardson
2nd: Susan Moeller
Michigan Supreme Court
Connie Marie Kelley
Bridget Mary McCormack
Sheila Johnson (for the partial term seat)
Court of Appeals, District Court, Probate Court, and Circuit Court Judges
Most of these are uncontested, so I won’t list every person that I’ll be voting for. In the contested races, though, I plan to vote for Carol Kuhnke (22nd Circuit Court Judge) and Michael Woodyard (22nd Circuit Court Judge).
Ypsilanti School Board
Washtenaw Community College Trustee
Diane McKnight Morton
Patrick McLean (for the partial term seat)
Ypsilanti District Library
As three people are running for three seats, it doesn’t appear to matter.
All of my reasoning can be found in yesterday’s mega post, but here, again, is how I intend to vote on Proposals 1 through 6.
Proposal 1: NO
Proposal 2: YES
Proposal 3: YES
Proposal 4: YES
Proposal 5: NO
Proposal 6: NO
City Charter Revision
My friend, Richard Murphy, made a compelling argument on this site a week or so ago as to why the citizens of Ypsilanti should support the revised City Charter, especially as it pertains to the provision on nonpartisan elections. In spite of his rather convincing argument, though, I’m going to have to vote “no” tomorrow. While I agree that there are some good points raised in this edited Charter, I don’t think, on the whole, that it would be a good idea for the City, as, among other things, this proposed revision would eliminate the automatic 16-year review of the Charter, change the reporting relationship between the City Clerk and the City Council, and make it impossible for City staff to propose ordinances without the support of at least two City Council members. This, as someone on Council told me earlier this evening, would be “a procedural nightmare.” Plus, I’m not altogether convinced that partisan elections are a bad thing. And, even if I were convinced that nonpartisan elections would be a good thing for Ypsilanti, I wonder if there might not be a better way to go about doing it, like the implementation of “a November, non-partisan, instant runoff voting system for our local offices,” as someone suggested in the comments section.
Charter Amendment to Make Pot the Lowest Priority of our Police Force
As we’ve discussed in the past, I’m not a huge fan of marijuana. I don’t think, however, that it should be illegal. So, while I have some concerns as to how the wording of this amendment will translate to implementation by our police on the street, I suppose I’ll be voting in favor of it. (What does it mean to say that it’s the “lowest priority”? Does that mean that it’s still illegal, and that someone can still be busted for it, but that, if, at the same time a cop sees you smoking weed, she also sees someone litter, that she has to go after the person who threw the candy wrapper?)
I will be voting in favor of consolidation. It’s not an ideal situation, but, as I understand it, the alternative is worse. This will be especially true if Proposition 1 passes, and this consolidation proposal does not. In that instance, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and the State Board of Education have made it clear that our school district’s takeover by an Emergency Manager will be accelerated. And, I think the main thing now is to avoid giving up local control to an unelected Emergency Manager at all costs. (If you’ll recall, the Emergency Manager of Muskegon Heights recently gave orders for his district to shut down all public schools and go to an “all charter” scheme.) And, it’s difficult to know for sure if they’ll live up to their word, but administrators have given the indication that, if this consolidation between Willow Run and Ypsilanti happens, they’ll be receptive to the community-based reform ideas that we’ve discussed on this blog in the past. So, I will reluctantly be voting for consolidation… and the millage in support of said consolidation.
OK, that’s as far as I can make it this evening. My eyelids are drooping… See you tomorrow, at the polls.