Tell a veteran you’re not voting

In a report issued September 2001 by the Michigan Department of Education, almost half of Michigan school districts reported fewer than 5 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2000 school board election.
Three-quarters of the districts had turnouts of 10 percent or less, and since not all eligible citizens register to vote, the percentage of citizens voting in school board elections is even lower than those calculated.
Such statistics were mirrored in June 2003, where 11 percent of the Goodrich School District’s 6,117 voters cast their ballots. The Brandon School District produced a worse case of apathy, with only 2.2 percent of 11,900 registered voters participating in the June election.
So dismal was the showing in school board elections across the state that in 2003 a package of bills were passed by lawmakers to provide for the consolidation of school elections with other local, state and national elections. Beginning next year, elections will be held on four specific dates during the year and are now the responsibility of the municipality.
Supporters of the voting reform measure say the change will encourage greater voter participation and save millions of dollars schools spent on special elections in Michigan. Opponents of the law contend school districts should deal with their own issues and call their own elections.
Regardless, on June 14 voters in both Brandon and Goodrich will head to the polls and choose school board members.
If history proves itself correct, another pathetic sub-10 percent turnout will emerge with the majority of residents ignoring the election and a small minority of registered voters deciding who serves on the board.
We call ourselves proud Americans yet shrug off our democracy like a jacket on a summer day. Still, just last week our nation paused and honored those who died defending our nation’s democracy. Go tell one of our soldiers currently fighting in Iraq to establish a democracy that WE Americans are proud of your sacrifice’but we’re not going use those rights anytime soon.
Registered voters in both Brandon and Goodrich owe a debt of respect to those who established the taken-for-granted right to vote. It’s our responsibility.
Furthermore, it’s the duty of The Citizen (see page 11) to offer information and records of each candidate. It’s the duty of the voters to decide who would best represent the majority of residents. We did our part’now do yours.
Vote on June 14.