Monday, November 03, 2014

League of Women Voters offers helpful voter guides, videos of candidate forums on line

By Michele Bourdieu

HANCOCK -- The nonpartisan League of Women Voters -- both the Michigan Chapter and the local Copper Country Chapter -- offer helpful voter guides and now video recordings of some of their candidate forums. These are accessible on line to voters.

Voters unfamiliar with certain candidates and their views can consult the League of Women Voters guides for any of the races appearing on the Nov. 4, 2014, ballot.

The first step is to search for a copy of your own personal ballot by going to the Michigan Voter Information Center on the Michigan Secretary of State Web site and typing in your name and zip code (or driver's license number) and birth month and year. Click here to do this.

You can save or print your personal ballot. Next, examine the ballot for candidates you wish to learn about in order to vote wisely. Visit the Michigan League of Women Voters of the Copper Country site and click on the entire voter guide or the links to candidates for specific offices. See their answers to questions and compare them. Your personal ballot also has links to information on individual candidates who have supplied the links in blue.

Click here for the text of Proposal 1 and Proposal 2 concerning wolf hunting in Michigan or read these Proposals on your personal ballot.*

Videos of Forums now available

Most recently, the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country sponsored a forum at Hancock Middle School for local candidates on issues concerning children and youth in the Keweenaw region, including early childhood and K-12 education and social services. Questions from the audience broadened the discussion to other local issues, such as public transportation, restoring the Earned Income (tax) Credit for families and keeping the Houghton County Medical Care Facility publicly supported.

Democratic and Republican candidates for State Senate 38th District, State Representative 110th District, and Houghton County Commissioner 1st and 3rd Districts were invited. These included Incumbent State Senator Tom Casperson (R) and his Democratic opponent, Christopher Germain; Incumbent 110th District State House Representative Scott Dianda (D) and his opponent, Bob Michaels (R); District 3 Incumbent County Commissioner Tony Pintar (D) and his opponent, Mark Kemppainen (R); and District 1 County Commissioner candidates Rick Kasprzak (D) and his opponent, Eugene Londo (R). All of the Democratic candidates in this list participated. Sen. Tom Casperson was the only Republican candidate who attended.

A series of four videos, by Bill Fink, covering the forum is now available on line. Click here to view the videos.

A League of Women Voters Forum for the First District U.S. House of Representatives race -- with candidates Rep. Dan Benishek (R), incumbent, Jerry Cannon (D) and Ellis Boal (Green) participating -- was held in Traverse City. It was broadcast on Interlochen Radio and now is available as a video on UP North Media. Click here to view the video.

Visit the League of Women Voters of Michigan for links to other candidate forums.

* See also our recent article "Video report: Wolf hunt based on politics, not science -- why vote 'NO' on Proposals 1 and 2."

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