Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Special ballot measures to get out the vote (UPDATE and Correction)

Michigan's November ballot will most certainly bring out voters and provide drama and entertainment at a time voters desperately need it. Considered a critical swing state, a high Michigan turnout will most certainly favor Obama. Three titillating ballot measures are sure to get voters to the polls: government overhaul, medical marijuana and easing restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

Michiganders frustrated with their legislators might have a chance to "say it" at the ballot box. Reform Michigan Government Now, advocating a smaller Michigan judiciary and sweeping salary cuts for elected officials, turned in nearly half a million signatures yesterday to get a Constitutional amendment on November's ballot. Saul Anuzis, chair of Michigan's GOP, questions the validity of the measure because Democratic strategists seem to be behind it.

The medical marijuana question may encourage young voters to take action. The measure does not say how patients would obtain marijuana and the state would not provide or regulate it. Sounds like a business opportunity for enterprising young college grads unable to find other work. (According to the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, the state would regulate the substance to the extent that qualified persons could cultivate "12 marihuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility.") You can read the proposed measure here.

The stem cell measure will probably mobilize folks on all sides of that issue -- from alzheimer's care providers to the right-to-life crowd. Obama and McCain both support the measure, but right-to-lifers claim the language of the measure would lead to human cloning. Sigh.

And if those measures weren't enough to stimulate interest, voters in the 9th district will have an independent option in November -- Jack Kevorkian will be on the ballot in the Peters/Knollenberg contest. And why not? He spent eight years in prison for second-degree murder,was released June 1 last year and remains on parole until June 1, 2009. Heck, he's had a productive year managing to jump start a congressional bid. Where does he stand on these issues?