Sen. Proos: A civic duty and honor: Vote Nov. 6Published 4:35pm Thursday, November 1, 2012
By Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph
America was founded on the revolutionary idea that our government doesn’t give us power; our government only has the power that we, the people, choose to give it.
Our rights are endowed upon us by our creator, and key to these is the right to vote. This freedom to choose or reject our leaders makes us the beacon of liberty in the world. People in countries worldwide have fought and continue to fight for what many of us take for granted.
I encourage all Southwest Michigan residents to exercise their voice by getting out to vote. Unfortunately, voter turnout nationwide remains low. Less than two-thirds of eligible voters made it to the polls on Election Day in 2004, placing America’s voter turnout 139th among countries that hold free elections – just ahead of Tanzania.
I am proud that Southwest Michigan residents take voting to heart and turn out to participate in our democratic republic. To those who say that their vote doesn’t matter: Every vote matters, and, sometimes, a single vote can make all the difference.
Presidents John Quincy Adams and Rutherford B. Hayes both failed to win an Electoral College majority and were each elected by one-vote margins in the U.S. House of Representatives. In Michigan, control of the state House of Representatives was determined by a margin of only five votes in 1992.
I would also urge you to learn as much as you can about the candidates and the issues. Our state and nation continue to face significant problems, and we need effective leaders who are willing to take on these problems and fix them.
While the presidential election is the most visible, there are important choices to be made for state, county and local offices. In addition, residents are being asked to weigh in on six statewide ballot proposals, five of which would change our state constitution.
If you do not know where you’re supposed to go to vote, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at: www.michigan.gov/vote. Enter your first and last name, date of birth and residential ZIP code and the website will give you the address and a map of your polling location.
Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.