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Letter to the Editor: Voting Observation

Dear Editor:

Something is wrong with our voting system for primary elections.

I voted today in Lima Township. Like everyone in my township, I was disenfranchised from voting for a significant number of the elected positions.

All the Township candidates were running under the Republican Party and almost all the County candidates were running under the Democratic party. I suspect a difference like this is true in many other areas as well.

However, I had to choose a party.

So, although I had opinions about candidates in both jurisdictions, unfortunately I had to forgo my vote in one or the other.

Here are some possible solutions to this problem: more candidates, local candidates being non-partisan, and voters being able to cross-over to different parties.

I’d like to encourage a discussion on how to improve voting in our primary elections.

Kathie Gourlay


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15 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Voting Observation”

  1. I screwed up my ballot by voting on both sides of ballot. Machine took it but it was thrown out later. So if I’m a democrat I can’t vote in my primary and for township supervisor as they are republicans. Something wrong here!

    • it was the same for me in Sharon township. we should be able to vote for the person, not the party.

  2. Take your turn and run for office. If you don’t care to run for an office, get involved in the local system. If you don’t want to get involved in the system, encourage the younger crowd to do so.

    • Despite it having the most impact on our daily lives, citizens are least likely to vote– or run for offices– in elections that are local. It’s quite unusual for anyone to challenge the incumbents in Lima Twp. The only way to vote against someone is to do a write-in for yourself. You won’t win, obviously, but it is a vote of no confidence. Not voting at all is a vote of indifference.

  3. All elections should be non-partisan and the parties disbanded as far I am concerned. The current system simply encourages more and more extreme candidates on both sides since the “bases” are the people most likely to vote in primaries.

  4. This simply was an election to decide on who you want on the ballot come November. It’s not the townships issue if they don’t have enough people able and willing to serve and run. You can’t force people into that position.

    I for one appreciated being able to get someone else on the ticket in November, even if they are with a party I don’t really identify with- simply from the mindset that a change is needed.

  5. If a primary race is contested within the dominant party, one must vote in that party’s primary in order to show a preference for certain candidate(s); otherwise ‘your’ candidate may lose and not appear in the general election at all. So you can’t ‘wait’ until the general election. But since you can’t split your ticket in the primary, you are not able to show your preferences in both parties. It matters not which party you favor. Thus the system fails, except for those who have vested interest in the status quo, i.e., the sitting office-holders.

  6. Over 20 years ago Michigan did not participate in primaries. it was up to the parties to vote for their own candidate to compete at the general elections at their conventions. to save them funds and the state wanted to be meaningful in selecting a candidate this is what we now have. If you understand the system it does work however the problem is having nonpartisan proposals on the ballots . this should not happen they should only be on the general election ballots. everyone should read and understand Michigan voting regulations before voting. don’t wait until the day of casting your vote.

  7. I wonder how many people here just want to influence the other party’s candidate, with full intent to vote the other way in November.

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