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November 1, 2012 - Chris Tomassucci
By now, we are all aware that there is a big election coming up on Nov. 6. With ads coming at us from every direction — through junk-mail, radio, online, TV, etc. — we have been overwhelmed with noise from both sides, each telling us which candidate or proposal we should vote for (or against) on Election Day.

Setting all the partisan back-and-forth aside for just a moment, let’s all remember how important it is for our democracy that every person who wants to vote, and is eligible to do so, knows where to go and what to expect on Tuesday.

There never seems to be a shortage of “information” available regarding who you should vote for or against, but tips about what to actually expect when you get to your polling place on Nov. 6 are harder to come by.

So, let’s take a look at some common questions voters have and see if we can’t figure it out here. . .less than 5 days before the election.

First, do you know if you’re registered to vote? Obviously it’s too late to register now, but if you are unsure of your registration status, it is easier than you might think to find out. The State of Michigan has a great feature on their website. Once there, simply type in your name, date of birth, and zip code to find out your registration status.

This will also conveniently tell you exactly where you need to go on Nov. 6.

Next, do you know what is going to be on the ballot? We all know that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will certainly be in there somewhere, and I’m sure we’ve heard some about the proposals (The Daily News website has some information available about these if you want to learn more), but what else exactly are you going to be deciding this Tuesday? Figuring this out is fairly easy as well.

Once you have gone to and found that you are in fact registered, you can actually examine a sample ballot, (based on your specific polling location) and even print one off. This is very handy, even if you consider yourself to be a well informed voter. I personally printed one off and went through and made all my choices, just like I will on Election Day. I can tell you I will be much less overwhelmed in the voting booth now that I’ve seen the ballot.

Throughout this last long weekend of campaigning, as we watch candidates make their final pitch to voters, try to remember what makes this country of ours so great in the first place. Democracy. We all have the right to voice our opinion and vote. Make sure and help someone you know get to the polls, even if they may not vote the way you would like them too.



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