Michigan's Children Sandbox Party
Aug. 4, 2014
Read Matt Gillard's commentary, "Our Kids' Future Hinges on Getting out the Vote"Review Sandbox Party's profiles of hotly contested primaries in Michigan
Polls Open Tuesday in Primary Contests Across Michigan; Vote with Children, Youth and Families in Mind
The first round – and in most cases the most important round of balloting – takes place in communities across Michigan on Tuesday when voters go to the polls to make decisions on a variety of local issues and also select their Republican and Democratic candidates for the November general run-offs. These are crucially important contests because of the way political boundaries are redrawn every decade and often favor one political party over the other. In most cases, the winners in August go on to become the chosen candidates in November. So, even though primaries are traditionally overlooked by the majority of registered voters, don't sit this one out! Come to the polls prepared to vote for people you believe will put children, youth and families first in Michigan! Remember: Children can't vote. Vote with children, youth and families in mind. The stakes are high. Choices will be made for Governor, all 110 seats in the state Legislature, 38 state Senate seats, along with selections for federal offices, including a U.S. Senate seat and numerous Congressional offices. Michigan's Children has made it a priority this summer through the work of the Sandbox Party to encourage people who care about kids to take a serious look at who's running for office in their communities; to learn where they stand on the issues most important to their children, youth and families; and to make it a point to vote in their primaries. Our website at michigansandboxparty.org is focused on the election with resources and tools to help voters. Read Michigan's Children President/ CEO Matt Gillard's commentary in the Detroit News - "Our kids' futures hinge on getting out the vote" - in which he calls voting in the Aug. 5 primary one of our most powerful tools to impact child well-being in Michigan. Read also Sandbox Party writer Teri Banas's commentary, "It's Time to Have Your Say," which offers tips on becoming informed about the candidates in your communities. For inspiration on why voting matters to young voters, read Michigan's Children intern Marlee Sherrod's blog about becoming a new voter as a freshman college student at Michigan State University. Then, read up on key primary battlegrounds on the Sandbox Party website, where we spotlight 16 races – Congressional, state Senate and state House -- where the August primary is likely to determine the winner in November. Our profiles identify and describe the candidates with links to their campaign races. In most of these races there are candidate forums that were videotaped and are accessible from our website. All polling places are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. in Michigan. If you're in line by 8 p.m., you must be allowed to vote. If you've moved and aren't sure where the polling place is for your neighborhood, check with the local clerk's office in the city or township you live in, or you can access the online Voter Information Center for the Michigan Secretary of State's office to find your polling place.
Other Voices: Why Voting in Primary Elections Matters
Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth "Freedom is not free, we all need to exercise our constitutional rights and vote so our great democracy is the voice of its people. Children cannot vote but we can all represent their needs at the ballot box!" Amy U. Zaagman, Executive Director, Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health "Voting in primaries in many districts has more impact than voting in the general election. Because of the way state House and Senate districts are drawn, they represent the true choices for many Michigan voters. Please take the time to understand these dynamics in your area and vote to send the person who will vote with your values in mind." U.S. Army (retired) Major General Gerald A. Miller "Voting is a right that each of us have to shape the future of our community, state and nation. Today's children are the future parents and leaders. Many, many studies have documented that a healthy and nutritious diet and access to early education prepares children to have successful lives as they mature into young adults. Vote and vote for our future."
Western Michigan University student Ronnie Stephenson "I believe voting gives people a voice to be heard. If they aren't voting then they can't be heard and things can't be changed. You have that power to let elected officials know what needs to be fixed."
215 S. Washington Square, Suite 110 Lansing, MI 48933 (517) 485-3500 www.michigansandboxparty.org
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The Michigan Sandbox Party is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.