November ballot proposals could impact elections and transparency – Grand Valley Lanthorn

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As the midterm elections approach, Michigan voters, including those at Grand Valley State University, have been asked to consider a number of ballot initiatives aimed at reforming Michigan’s systems and policies. State.

While much attention has been given to the Reproductive Rights Initiative, or Proposition 3, additional proposals including Voters for Transparency and Term Limits (Proposition 1) and Promoting Vote 2022 ( Proposition 2) could have far-reaching effects if they guaranteed passage.

Proposal 1 aims to remove the mystery surrounding how our elected officials earn their money. Michigan is one of only two states in the country that does not require its elected officials to disclose their finances or conflicts of interest. Proponents of Proposition 1 seek to be transparent about the motives and influences of state officials.

Proposition 2 seeks to protect Michigan’s voting power. It aims to improve the fairness and integrity of elections by making some changes to the electoral system.

According to proposition 2 websitepassage of the measure would usher in sweeping changes to state election systems that would include both provisions on voters’ rights at the polls as well as requirements regarding candidates’ financial disclosures and how voting is conducted. by the state.

Regarding these two proposals, the general feeling among some GVSU students is that they would be welcome.

“I will be voting for Proposals 1 and 2 in November,” GVSU junior Drew Jones said. “Financial transparency is essential in today’s political world and greater ease of voting is a net benefit to democracy.”

Jones also outlined what he sees as the benefits of requiring term limits for elected officials.

“Term limits prevent incumbents from being continually re-elected and encourage new ideas and new people to come into office,” Jones said. “Stagnant seats like we’ve seen in the US Senate don’t benefit anyone.”

Another student in favor of term limits for elected officials was GVSU sophomore Eden Hodgson.

“All elected officials in the state should have term limits,” Hodgson said. “I’m a big believer in ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.”

Hodgson also said that while she values ​​the privacy of others, public officials have a duty to the people they represent to disclose financial information in an effort to keep their motives transparent.

“While privacy is a fundamental human right, I think financial transparency for elected officials could protect a greater amount of peoples’ rights, and I appreciate that,” Hodgson said.

Nikolas Tompkins, a GVSU junior, echoed similar sentiments.

“Increasing transparency within the political ecosystem will increase trust within our candidates and can help weed out political figures who do not have the best interests of the people in mind,” Tompkins said.

Tompkins was also in favor of requiring term limits with respect to Proposition 1.

“Term limits allow new candidates to enter Congress and do not allow the same candidate to influence policy for decades,” Tompkins said. “As a result, younger candidates, with a more modern and youthful political outlook, can create and vote on policy that affects them more.”

In terms of making voting more accessible to concerned citizens, Tompkins said opinions in different communities can complicate the voting process.

“It’s not necessarily difficult to vote in this state,” Tompkins said. “But, in more rural areas, where the confidentiality of your vote is not as guaranteed, voting against the preferred candidate in the area can make the voting experience very uncomfortable and cause backlash from the public.”

Tompkins also mentioned that upgrading the cyber networks used to vote could go a long way in advancing that same idea.

“If the state could make its websites more secure, online voting could increase access and convenience for voters overall,” Tompkins said.

Although the proposals have been welcomed by many, some still see room for improvement in state systems.

To make it easier for Michigan voters to vote, Jones also recommended some changes that could go a long way towards achieving that goal.

“Automatic adult registration would avoid confusion among less engaged citizens,” Jones said. “Additionally, proactive advertising of mail-in ballots and other forms of early voting would help people who consider themselves too busy to vote to participate more easily.”

To see the language of Propositions 1 and 2 and to find a complete list of candidates and propositions on each riding’s ballot, visit Michigan Voter Information Center.

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