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Make your voices heard

To the editor:

On November 3, I was proud to cast my vote at precinct 2, at our historic Dee Stadium. I took my 13-year-old son with me so that he could see democracy in action. We put on our masks and were greeted by friendly and efficient poll workers, volunteering their time to uphold the democratic process in the midst of a pandemic. I cast my ballot and got my sticker; my son got one too, excited for the time when he could cast his own ballot. 

Despite countless odds, Michigan voters turned out to vote in historic numbers. They made it known that our country’s path has run off course. We need help to deal with COVID-19’s impact on our community as local case numbers continue to rise and hospitals are fighting to keep up. We need relief packages for our small businesses so that they can weather this pandemic while keeping their employees safe. We need help to deal with UPPCO’s energy costs that are still some of the highest in the country as we enter the cold season in the eighth month of the pandemic. We need reliable broadband in rural areas even more than ever now, to support distance learning and remote work. We need to move forward together.

Instead of focusing on the issues that matter, officials in Michigan, specifically the two Republicans on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers and the Republican-controlled state legislature, have engaged in political theater, casting doubt on the outcome of a legitimate election, disenfranchising voters, and undermining the democratic process. They are wasting our time and taxpayer dollars. 

My son ran cross-country for the first time this fall. I was impressed by the good sportsmanship shown by all the racers and coaches no matter how they placed in the race. The kids who placed lower didn’t cry that the race was unfair or rigged. The kids who placed higher didn’t gloat. They all congratulated one another for completing the race and trying their best. This is what we teach our children. What are they learning from our elected officials who claim that an election is rigged just because their candidate didn’t win? Who call into question the legitimacy of results only in states, counties, and cities where their candidate lost? This is poor sportsmanship at best, and anti-democratic, authoritarian behavior at worst. We are better than this.

We need to come together and move forward to tackle the issues facing our community. The voters of Michigan decided, and, like the outcome or not, it’s time to move forward together. When my son gets an “I Voted” sticker after casting his first ballot for president in 2028, I want him to do so in a fair, democratic society, and I want him to be able to trust that his vote will count. We must ensure the will of the people is respected by our representatives in Lansing and the election officials on the Board of State Canvassers who can move this process forward. 

Make your voices heard.

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