PROOS: Let your voice be heard by voting

The freedom to choose or reject our leaders makes us the beacon of liberty in the world, yet voter turnout remains low.

In 1960, nearly 73 percent of the voting age population in Michigan voted. That figure dropped to as low as 54.5 percent in 1996 and has since rebounded to 63 percent in 2016. Although a 63 percent turnout is lower than we would hope to see, it is huge compared to the 41.6 percent turnout in the 2014 election.

I encourage all citizens to let their voices be heard by getting out to vote. Election Day is Nov. 6, and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

If you do not know where you’re supposed to go to vote, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at: 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.

The site also allows voters to view a sample of their ballot online.

Voters may also get their polling location information by contacting their county clerk’s office at (269) 983-7111 ext. 8264 in Berrien County and (269) 445-4464 in Cass County.

When voters go to the polls to cast a ballot, they will be asked to present photo identification, such as a Michigan driver’s license or state-issued ID card. The voter information center site details the acceptable forms of ID, but if you do not have photo ID or do not bring it with you to the polls, you may still vote. Simply sign an affidavit and your ballot will be counted.

I also urge southwest Michigan voters to learn as much as possible about the candidates and the issues. We continue to face challenges, and we need effective leaders at every level who are able to deliver positive results.

Please exercise your constitutional right to vote. Every vote matters and sometimes a single vote can make all the difference. Your voice could help determine the direction of our local communities, our state and our nation.

Buchanan

Local provisioning centers celebrate cannabis holiday with sales, overcome software snags

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 799,140 cases, 16,986 deaths

Dowagiac

DUS to install classroom phones in elementary schools, high school

Berrien County

Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association sets annual meeting

Dowagiac

DUS Board of Education honors Class of 2021 Top 10

Buchanan

Buchanan HCU member center lands new leadership

Berrien County

United Way of Southwest Michigan invites community to honor leaders during National Volunteer Week

Buchanan

Buchanan provisioning center raises money to fight cannabis injustices

Cass County

Cass County Sheriff’s Office K9 finds home invasion, larceny suspect

Berrien County

UPDATE: Sheriff’s office finds missing Niles man

Brandywine Education

Teacher resigns after allegedly soliciting 14-year-old

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 793,881 cases, 16,901 deaths

Business

Cassopolis to welcome first marijuana dispensary

Berrien County

Merritt Elementary hosting pet supply drive for area shelters

Dowagiac

SMC psychology panel provides pandemic perspective

Berrien County

South Bend man sentenced for meth possession in Niles Township

Berrien County

GateWay Services to become Center for Growth and Independence

Buchanan

Cannavista Wellness, Common Citizen launch 420 charitable fundraiser

News

Niles Police Log: April 8-15

Dowagiac

Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates

Business

Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze

Dowagiac

DUS graduate raising money for independent film project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community