Even in an off-year election, plenty of reasons to vote

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By Anthony Garcia
The Meridian Times

The governor’s race, which Rick Snyder easily won Tuesday, was one of the hot-button issues for voters on a cold and rainy day in Meridian Township.

Rain, combined with no presidential race, is generally a recipe for a lower turnout. However for voters like John Bradley, there was still enough of a reason to come.

“Governors are pretty important, because they are the ones that basically make the laws,” said Bradley. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a presidential race, however, “state legislature will affect your day-to-day life more than a president,” said Bradley. It is for those reasons that Bradley likes “these smaller elections more. But that’s just me.”

Yet, not everyone is as excited about smaller races. Some people, like John Somerville, choose to vote because they feel it is a privilege that billions of people don’t enjoy.

“(I voted) because I have the right that so many don’t,” said Somerville. However, solely voting is not enough. He says that people voting for the governor, or any position for that matter, are only as effective as the information that they have access too. The majority of the information that Somerville and his fiancee, Nicole Polston, saw about the election, came in the form of commercials bashing the opposing candidate.

Somerville doesn’t trust what he hears in these mudslinging campaigns. “It’s probably different than they actually feel anyway,” said Somerville.

Polston is also not a fan of this campaign strategy. “The governor … was important to me. The rest I probably didn’t look into like I should have,” said Polston. But Polston says if she hadn’t done her own research, then she wouldn’t know how to separate the good information from the bad. “I would much rather hear about what they plan on doing, or where their stance is, rather than what the other person didn’t do,” said Polston.

Others said they know all they need, regardless of these negative advertisements.

Bob Cleveland said his motive to vote was to “pull the rug out of the two-party system.” He is now against the current governor because “he took away the right to unionize and I have a problem with that … Without collective bargaining, we have nothing,” said Cleveland.

Cleveland said he fears that the if the governor is not changed, the public will be “vulnerable to any whim of the 1 percent.”

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