Journal to present primary election coverage this week

The staffers here at The Mining Journal are yet again hard at work to bring our readers quality coverage of the upcoming August primary election.

Several proposals and a host of candidates are on the ballot this year, and each issue and person deserve close consideration by us, the people, the voting electorate.

The voice of the people — and democracy as an institution — can be threatened by silence or apathy, an unwillingness to participate or a belief that one person can’t create change.

The truth, as much as people fail or neglect to recognize, is that your vote does truly count. Voting isn’t just our right, it’s our duty. The people have the power to choose who represents us and what we want this country to become.

Voting at this Michigan primary election, to be held Aug. 7, will decide which of the major party candidates will advance to the general election in November to square off in what’s likely to be another hard-fought political battle for contestants. Primary voters will also decide the fate of several local millage proposals that will affect your pocketbooks and purses to varying degrees.

At the time of this writing, The Mining Journal staff writers are busy collecting and organizing their respective reports on the candidates seeking office, and they’re crafting articles highlighting the ballot measures you’ll see when the polls open next week.

We encourage you to carefully read this information, as you’ll likely find it nowhere else. To the best of our ability and with the resources at hand, the Journal has always strived to keep a close watch on elections and the candidates and proposals they consist of. We do this to ensure our readers have access to at least an overview glimpse of the issues and people in question.

While the Journal’s staffers are skilled in their profession, we are still members of the public and the communities in which we serve. We have no secret dealings with police or court officials and uphold no “backroom deals” with legislators to provide us with exclusive access to classified materials. Certainly, we do seek to maintain good working relationships with these folks, but our reporting and the great majority of our work is done with what’s available to the public as a whole. The same can be said of our election coverage.

Each and every one of us has the ability to delve into topics or people that interest us, and we encourage you to become engaged in that process, particularly when it comes to elections. Think about doing some research on your favorite candidate, or carefully consider how much a millage might cost your family over the year if you vote for it. Then, carefully consider the ramifications that might arise if the millage you don’t want to vote for fails. Every decision we make has an outcome, and each choice should be made thoughtfully.

Beginning Monday, the Journal will begin rolling out our coverage preceding the primary election. Read it and review it. Take some time to think about how you might vote before going to the polls. Rather than choosing one political party over the other, simply because that’s how you’ve voted for years, consider each candidate’s distinct views on issues, their pasts and their aspirations. Will they represent you, or the party? Instead of simply voting “no” on a millage proposal because you don’t believe in paying higher taxes, consider whether the money will sustain some quality-of-life facet you desire. How might it impact your mother or father, or what does it mean for your child’s future?

“All political power is inherent in the people.” That’s the first line of the Michigan Constitution, and it’s a meaningful one.

We the people must retain that power by voting at the polls. The first step is educating yourself, and you’ll find no better information to help you achieve that than right here at The Mining Journal.