This is a monumental election not just because of who is involved, but because of the times we are in. The economy, the future of the war in Iraq, tax plans, health care, etc. 98% of eligible Michigan voters are registered to vote according to The Detroit News. (1) That's an amazing statistic, but it doesn't stop there. We got to get out to the polls and make informed choices. Hopefully you are already aware of all these issues, but just in case I wanted to get this all out there.
Obviously this is the biggest thing on the ballot. Democrat, Republican, or other? First minority Presidential Elect, first female Vice President, or Bob Barr? It doesn't matter which way you vote, just that you vote and do so for good reason. Not because you've let campaign fearmongering get to your head. Vote for the issues, not the appearances. Most of all, vote for yourself.
Some good sites to get you more caught up on some of the issues are:
STATE OF MICHIGAN
STATEWIDE BALLOT PROPOSAL STATUS
NOVEMBER 4, 2008 GENERAL ELECTION
STATEWIDE PROPOSALS QUALIFIED TO APPEAR ON NOVEMBER 4, 2008
GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT
COALITION FOR COMPASSIONATE CARE: Initiative petition approved as to form June 6, 2007; signatures filed November 20, 2007; petition determined sufficient March 3, 2008; proposal language certified to State Legislature March 3, 2008; 40-day consideration period reserved for State Legislature elapsed April 12, 2008.
Purpose: Legislative initiative to allow under state law the medical use of marihuana.
Contact: Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, P.O. Box 20489, Ferndale,
Michigan 48220. Dianne Byrum (517) 333-1606.
STEM CELL RESEARCH: Initiative petition approved as to form February 4, 2008; signatures filed July 7, 2008; petition determined sufficient August 21, 2008.
Purpose: Proposed constitutional amendment to permit with certain limitations stem cell research in Michigan.
Contact: Stem Cell Research BQC, P.O. Box 20216, Lansing, Michigan 48901. Mark Burton (517) 974-4004.
I encourage you to read the full language in link 2 provided below, but a basic summary is that the proposal would allow medicinal marijuana use for patients with severe illnesses and absolve their doctors from charges to prescribing it.
About.com provides some great insight on it here (http://detroit.about.com/od/governmentpolitics/a/marijuana.htm?once=true&), including these important tidbits:
# The statute only protects medicinal use of marijuana from Michigan criminal laws, not Federal prosecution.
# Legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use opens up the state’s ability to regulate it in terms of purity and strength. It can also then be taxed.
The Embryonic Stem Cell Research proposal. This is a sticky issue, especially for the religious bunch. This proposal would basically allow Embryonic Stem Cell Research and absolve it from local and state regulation. You can get a right-wing perspective on this bill here (http://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/michigan-ballot-for-2008-proposal-2-stem-cell-research/) which also addresses some of the issues the more religious of us may have. A key fact from About.com:
The slippery slope argument regarding embryonic stem cell research is taken to an extreme by the main opponent to the proposal, Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science & Experimentation (MiCAUSE). The group argues that opening the door to embryonic stem cell research will ultimately lead to human cloning, animal/human hybrids and higher taxes, all consequences that fall outside of the actual language of Proposal 2. For instance, the “2 goes 2 far” television ads peppered on the air waves state that similar proposals in other states cost taxpayers shovels full of money. The ad is misleading because the states in question included state funding within their proposals while Michigan’s Proposal 2 does not.(3)
I've seen those ads and they made me reconsider my stance of Prop 2, so I feel its important that we recognize there is no langauge in the Proposal that includes state funding.
State and Local Elections
I'm going to go out on a non-so-long limb and guess that not everyone is really up on the smaller elections going on. I will be the first to admit I need to read the very site I'm about to recommend.
Election 2008 Michigan Voter's Guide
This link will get you informed on all the smaller races, from state senate to the township. Check it out.
I hope someone reads this and learns something. If not, I learned something putting it together. Get out and vote people!