Vote! It’s not hard — and it’s your duty

Fewer than 15 percent of registered voters showed up to the Lansing primary election Aug. 8 – to help choose the people who decide some of the most contentious issues in the city.

And now it’s time to make final selections for four Lansing City Council seats and Mayor of Lansing. Don’t sit at home Nov. 7 and let others decide.

Here are three simple steps to show how easy it can be:

Step 1: Register

You must be a U.S. citizen. This requires a driver’s license or state identification card to prove citizenship and confirm your address. This piece must be done thirty days in advance, by Oct. 10 for the 2017 general election.

You can register in person at any Secretary of State, city clerk or county clerk’s office; you can also mail in registration or make name and address changes online.

Step 2: Get informed

The Lansing State Journal believes in an informed citizenry, and has published questionnaires for each of the candidates for Lansing City Council and mayor. In October, the editorial board will post endorsements based on meetings with each candidate.

Others – such as neighborhood associations unions, and business groups – have done the same.

Don’t want to trust someone else? The public has the opportunity to meet and speak with Lansing candidates this October at three events which are free and open to the community as a whole.

Partnering with the Lansing School District allows us to bring the forums to places with which you’re familiar: Oct. 2 at Everett High School for Ward 2, Oct. 3 at Sexton High School for Ward 4 and Oct. 10 at Eastern High School for at-large and mayoral candidates. All three forums begin at 6 p.m.

Step 3: Show up

After confirming you are registered and getting informed on candidates and issues, you simply have to vote.

Or, to vote in person on Nov. 7, find your polling place online and show up anytime between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. with your driver’s license or identification card.

Need a ride? There are several groups offering rides to seniors, disabled persons and more.

Following the highly contentious national election of 2016, interest in local politics is at an all-time high in many parts of the country – and Lansing should be no different.

At the local level, it is vital to have a strong City Council and mayor working to help the city progress. And it’s equally vital to know who you’re voting for.

It’s not that hard to vote. In the long run, there’s greater difficulty caused by those who sit idly by and let others make decisions that affect the city and its residents for years. Register, get informed and vote Nov. 7.