Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 12, 2012

Editorial: Voters to face crowded ballot


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---- — Michigan and Grand Traverse-area voters are going to have a lot of homework to do this year before they go to the polls — and that's just to decide the eight ballot issues they'll face Nov. 6.

They'll also be asked to decide who they want for president, a U.S. Senator, their state and U.S. House representatives and a few county officials, including a sheriff or two.

Just wading through the ballots — the most Michigan has had in 30 years — is going to take time and a commitment to know what's what before casting a vote.

Locally, there will be two issues.

Statewide, there could be as many as seven ballot proposals on everything from a new bridge in Detroit to requiring a supermajority in the Legislature to raise taxes.

Here's a brief rundown on each of the proposed amendments as reported by the Detroit Free Press:

To complicate things further, the Traverse City issue concerning parkland and Division Street may be short on details. The state won't approve precise plans until it knows how much right of way it will have to work with, but that won't be decided until after voters say yes or no to the parkland proposal.

"It's a real chicken-and-egg problem," City Manager Ben Bifoss said.

Voters owe it to themselves and their kids to take a close look at the school bond issue. While the Central High performing arts center issue has generated the most conversation so far, officials say the elementary school reconstructions and the Central Grade School project are crucial.

You owe it to yourself as a voter and a taxpayer to start studying now, not Nov. 5.