President Thomas J. Haas sent a message to the campus community October 16.
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:
November 6 – Election Day across the nation – will soon be here. I encourage all members of the Grand Valley community to vote. This most fundamental of our rights is, to me, a sacred undertaking. In too many places around the globe, citizens seeking to vote confront intimidation, danger or other obstacles crafted to limit participation. We should never take for granted the free and safe exercise of our right to vote.
While this message is for all members of the Grand Valley family, I want to speak candidly to students because younger Americans tend to vote less often than older Americans. If you are registered locally, please make plans to get to the polls on November 6. If you are registered elsewhere in Michigan, download an absentee voter application http://www.michigan.gov/documents/AbsentVoterBallot_105377_7.pdf and mail it to your local city or township clerk. Please do this today.
While the campaigns for president draw the most attention, in Michigan there are a host of other races and issues on the ballot. Voters will choose a United States senator, representatives in Congress and the state legislature, the state supreme court, local offices, and be asked to approve or reject referenda and proposed amendments to the Michigan Constitution. I ask that all voters inform themselves on the issues beforehand as reading proposal language in the voting booth will be very time-consuming. That’s because this year we have a record number of proposals on the ballot. The proposals may seem simple – especially if all you know about them is what you see in advertising. In fact, each proposal is complex and requires study and thoughtful judgment. One or more of the proposals could impact state funding for higher education. Impartial analysis on the proposals is available from the non-partisan, non-profit Citizens Research Council of Michigan at this website: http://election.crcmich.org/
Please mark your calendar now for November 6. Your participation is essential.
Thomas J. Haas