Three new proposals are on the ballot for Michigan


Abigail VanderBerg, Journalism 1 Writer

Three new proposals will be on the midterm election ballot that are going to impact everyone in the Portage area, even teens. Voters will make decisions on these issues in the statewide midterm election on November 6.

Proposal 1 tackles the issue of complete legalization of marijuana. According to the League of Women Voters Voting Guide, the proposal will “change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.” In order to be able to possess marijuana, an individual must be 21 or older. If the proposal were to pass, distributors would have to have a retail card. The amount of marijuana at homes will also be restricted to 10 ounces, and any measure above 2.5 ounces is to be safeguarded in a sealed capsule. Additionally, anything containing this product can be taxed up to 10%.

Proposal 2 limits gerrymandering (a process in which the government can change district borders every ten years). Many voters are looking to change this due to the fact the controlling party at the time can use gerrymandering to their advantage. This new proposal would create a commision of 13 citizens that would be responsible for drawing voting districts. The committee would consist of 5 objective people with no attachment to a political party and 4 individuals each from the 2 primary political groups. Ryan Ledlow, a history teacher from Portage Northern High School, believes this proposal will create “a fair reapportionment of voting districts will improve the democratic process for ALL voters.  People will have more voice in government.”

Proposal 3 makes the voter registration process easier. A person 18 and older will be immediately registered to vote when renewing a driver’s license or other state-given credentials. Citizens can opt not to be registered. Greathen Derenne, another social studies teacher at Portage Northern, says this “…would allow teens (18 and older) to get an absentee ballot when they had a conflict with election day. If students and school and work they could vote ahead of time.”  The proposal will also allow absentee voting without having to give a reason, and with general elections, will allow straight ticket voting. Interested voters can find their polling places here: