If you don’t vote, someone else will

EDITOR:

Did you know that nearly 1 in 4 Americans is not registered to vote? Voter registration is the key to engaging all Americans in the political process. Tuesday, Sept. 26, was National Voter Registration Day.

While national elections get the media attention, local elections in many ways have a more direct impact on people’s lives. The result of local elections can effect the quality of our roads, our parks, the schools our children attend, police and fire protection, local taxes and more. In our community, important elections are happening including the Escanaba City Council and the Gladstone City Commission.

Every year many Americans don’t claim their right to vote because they miss a deadline, move, change names, or don’t know how to register in the first place. With over a quarter of Americans not voting at all, National Voter Registration Day is a reminder that in order to exercise one of our most basic rights, you need to be registered to vote.

To register, you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age by election day and a resident of Michigan and the city or township where you are applying to register to vote. The last day to register to vote for the Nov. 7, 2017, election is Oct. 9. You can register to vote for federal, state, and local elections by mail: at your county, city or township clerk’s office, or by visiting any of the Secretary of State branch offices located throughout the state.

Absentee voting is available if you are disabled, 60 years of age or older or temporarily residing overseas.

To exercise your right to vote, simply appear at your assigned polling place on election day. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Remember, if you don’t vote, someone else will. Don’t be complacent. Participate!

Ann Bissell,

Delta County League of Women Voters

Voter Services Chair