If you don’t know who the candidates are, please don’t vote
Today I am going to tell you that everything you think you know about the importance of participating in an election is wrong: I am going to attempt to convince you to not vote next Tuesday if you don’t know exactly who you are voting for and why.
You, dear reader, have doubtless had impressed upon you that the most important thing in any election is participation and a high voter turn-out. The idea that somebody would stay home on election day has been widely disparaged. You almost certainly have been told that voting is a civic duty, and that every able-bodied, registered voter has the obligation to turn up at the voting site on election day and cast their ballot.
Unfortunately, this is incorrect. The most important thing in any election is who wins and who loses. The entire direction of the city’s government could change for the worse if the wrong people are elected.
As voters, we are charged with being the stewards of our government. The responsibility of choosing the people who will lead us is an important one, and it should not be taken lightly. At stake is a budget of over $160 million dollars, the value of our homes should we decide to sell them, the type of Fire and Police protection our city will have, and the rapidity with which our city’s infrastructure will be maintained and/or replaced. These are extremely important issues that directly affect all of us.
Therefore, there is no excuse for showing up at the polls and not knowing exactly who you will vote for. Moreover, if asked, you should be able to articulate why the people you are voting for represent your interests better than the other candidates. You should know exactly where the candidates all stand on our city’s budget, Fire, Police, and other issues, and use this knowledge to make an informed choice about who will represent you.
My friend Michael Lombardini has made an industry out of showing the interested potential voter who the local candidates are, challenger and incumbent via his Sterling Heights Local Politics Facebook group. Do visit if you have any questions about this election. They will be swiftly and expertly answered there.
The uninformed voter cannot perform his or her civic duty with the care and caution the founders of this great nation envisioned. The direction our government takes pivots on how well informed the electorate is. When the voters are poorly informed, we get bad government. We see the results of this at the national level every time we turn on the news.
If you find yourself in the voting booth and cannot recognize one or more of the names of the people who are running, do your city a favor: don’t vote. If you are not certain exactly who you are voting for before you receive your ballot, again, please don’t vote.