Democracy depends on people voting

The months leading up to Tuesday’s general election have been full of politicking and negative campaigns by all sorts of candidates. The mudslinging illustrates just how divided our country is in the current state of things, with fanatics found on both ends of the political spectrum.

But elections and voting represent an engaged democratic process through which the peaceful transition of power is upheld and respected. The foundation of our democracy rests on the participation of the public.

All registered voters have an obligation to cast votes. Though they are often fueled by partisan politics, elections are about more than that superficial factor. The beauty about Election Day is that regular people can effect real change.

When voters choose the politicians to represent them, it ensures the voices of the electors are being heard, and reinforces the principle the government is ruled by the people, rather than by a select bunch of powerful elitists.

Marquette County Clerk Linda Talsma told us that voter registrations are up this year, though an exact figure couldn’t be confirmed until after the election. She believes part of that increase is due in part to the statewide proposals, which include one to allow recreational marijuana, one to protect the state against gerrymandering and another that would alter certain voting policies in Michigan.

Regardless of how you feel on these issues, the important thing is that you vote.

Darlene Allen, the chairwoman of the League of Women Voters of Delta County-Marquette Unit, discussed the importance of voting recently with Journal reporter Lisa Bowers.

“Voting is an opportunity to make our voices heard and to participate in and protect the democratic process,” she said. “The people you vote for to run your state and local governments have a big impact on your day-to-day life. Voting empowers us to bring about a brighter future for ourselves, our friends and neighbors and our communities. Voting is also one of the few times in our society we are all equal, regardless of income, gender, race or occupation. Every single vote matters. What some younger voters may not realize is that if you don’t vote, the politicians don’t have much of a reason or incentive to listen to you. If you vote, your voice amplifies.”

Make your voice heard.