Monday, July 07, 2008

Got Vote?

Today is the last day to register for the August 5th primaries. If you aren't registered, get on down to your local county, city or township clerk's office, your local Secretary of State, or your local Department of Human Services, the Department of Community Health, or Department of Career Development. Military recruitment centers also provide voter registration services. Make sure to bring an ID.

Surprisingly enough, 95% of the voting population is already registered (good for us!), including a new batch of youngsters-

Election officials say there is a slight uptick in registrations -- particularly among younger voters excited about the presidential election -- noting that the more than 7.2 million registered voters as of last week is nearly 26,000 more than the number of voters registered in 2006. The slow growth is not surprising given that nearly 95 percent of those of voting age already are registered, a rate higher than in most states.

Voting in primaries is notoriously low, though, as Bill "Grumpy" Ballenger points out-

"The turnout will again be terrible," predicts Bill Ballenger, editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter. "I preach that the primary is the most important election of the year because most legislative and county offices are decided that day since the vast majority of those offices are in districts either heavily Democratic or heavily Republican so the primary winner coasts to victory in the fall."

Want to see more progressive Democrats in the House? Primary day is the day to make that happen. Study up on your local candidates. In the Detroit area, that can be a daunting task as term limits have left the race wide open in a couple of districts.

Take the case of Rep. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, who is completing his third and final two-year term. No fewer than 17 Democrats are battling to succeed him. Eleven Democratic candidates are vying to succeed term-limited Rep. Marsha Cheeks.

Need to know if you are already registered and who is running in your district? The Secretary of State will provide that information at the click of a mouse.

No more excuses. Can't bitch about the Legislature unless you do your homework and help decide who ends up in Lansing. THEN you can get in here and help me take them to task.

(Actually, you can get in here now and help me take them to task. I'm flexible.)