ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced story. It is an editorial by the editor.
“If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let you do it.” — Mark Twain
I’ve long believed voting is one of our most sacred rights because it’s our only chance to change things if we don’t like the way things have been going. It is one of the most important cornerstones of freedom.
But “they” have been on a rampage of late, insisting on photo voter ID, even though the incidence of fraud is very low. I already hear the Chicago stories from 50 years ago, but I counter them with the tainted Florida election of 2000.
“They” in Michigan also have reduced the number of times we can vote in even-numbered years to just three times, and none in odd-numbered years, unless “they” deem it necessary.
To be sure, we’ll have four such occasions in 2016 because of the addition of the presidential primary.
But limiting when we can vote has a cost, such as what surfaced only days ago with the announcement of a special primary election Nov. 3 to fill the seat no longer occupied by the dearly departed Cindy Gamrat. Anyone interested in running for the seat has had only one week to decide because the deadline for filing is 4 p.m. Friday.
It’s almost as impossible for a potential candidate to gather the necessary 200 signatures in less than a week as it is for a Democrat to win this open seat. That means anyone interested must file a $100 fee before Friday afternoon.
The vacant 80th District seat represents all of Allegan County except Leighton, Wayland and Dorr townships and the City of Wayland.
Mary Whiteford, who was second to Gamrat in the August 2014 primary, wasted no time in announcing her candidacy and Joe Storey since then has indicated his interest. We’re lucky to have two people at the ready to run on such short notice. We may not see any Democrats on the ballot as a result.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, I am certain, chose Nov. 3 for the primary date because the general election cannot occur until March, the presidential primary. But anybody who knows anything about West Michigan politics knows the winner of the GOP primary only about six weeks away will be our next state representative. Not much time to mount an effective campaign and not much time for candidates to file.
Michigan’s election laws, as I have said before, are all screwed up and are in serious need of reform. They need reform not to favor one party over another, they sorely need reform to ensure a fair system in the public’s only real avenue left to make its wishes known.
I have many ideas about election reform, but I shall save them until later. Perhaps some other time.