LETTER: Insidious voter suppression

When I received my ballot for the midterm elections, I noticed that all Republican candidates were listed first for every office.  I understand that Michigan has a rule that whoever won the last election, gets to have their candidates listed first on subsequent ballots.  Really!  One may think this is no big deal.  However, per an NPR discussion in 2016, “a study shows the order in which a candidate’s name is listed on the ballot can help candidates get elected.  It gives the party at the top of the list (in this case Republicans) better name recognition.”

Many states allow early voting; do not require strict picture ID to vote; and some states allow voting by mail — not Michigan which requires strict Voter ID to cast a ballot.

If placing one party over another on the ballot and restrictive voter ID requirements weren’t bad enough, Michigan’s Republican legislature has made deliberate, successful attempts to skew elections in their favor by how they draw up their congressional and state districts which is called “gerrymandering.”  Michigan has some of the worst partisan manipulating of legislative districts in the country. The Republicans have used this re-districting power to get a larger number of legislative seats and congressional seats than overall vote totals would legitimately provide them.

What to do?  There is Proposal 2 on Michigan’s current November ballot which takes re-districting power away from the partisan legislature and gives it to a citizen commission.

We need to stop any further partisan legislature’s ability to keep Democrats or any party from winning office by voting now to limit the ability to manipulate voter re-districting lines. Put this authority into the hands of the people. It’s time to get our Democracy back.  Vote yes for Proposal 2-an Independent Redistricting Commission.

Cate Fering

Buchanan

Cass County

Van Buren/Cass District Health Department confirms COVID-19 associated death of a student in Van Buren County

Cass County

Cassopolis man gets probation for drunk driving

Cass County

South Bend man resentenced in 1997 Union murder case

Dowagiac

Army veteran talks his experience in Afghanistan

Business

Local farm markets ready for fall season

Business

Mason’s Pumpkins preparing for second-annual Harvest Festival

Dowagiac

DUS, teachers continue contract talks

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Area History Museum fundraiser raises $40,000

Giving

Wolverine Pipeline, area organizations partner to lend veteran a helping hand

Business

Cassopolis woman opens vintage, antique store downtown

Brandywine Education

Tickets on sale for Brandywine Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Education

New tech students race marbles to raise money for essential workers

Berrien County

MGCF awards $121,182 in grants to Berrien, Cass counties

Berrien County

Berrien County reports lower COVID-19 cases in schools following mask mandate

Berrien County

Berrien County amends transportation funding requests

Cassopolis

Dowagiac man found guilty of drunk driving

Cass County

Underground Railroad Society of Cass County wins Michigan Humanities Council 2021 Outstanding Humanities Organization Award

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Sept. 17-22

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township/Edwardsburg Police Log: Sept. 13-20

Business

Boutique yoga, wellness studio opens in Edwardsburg

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department hosts educational event in recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness Month

Business

Apple Festival Grande Parade is back, looking for participants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 995,910 cases, 20,700 deaths

Education

Parents protest masks at Niles Community Schools Board of Education meeting