What to expect on the ballot this November


Voters expecting a number of hotly contested issues to be on the ballot in November’s upcoming election shouldn’t get their hopes up.

For the first time since 1963, Michigan will have no statewide proposals on the ballot this Election Day.

This is a highly uncommon occurrence, especially for an election year. The past 13 election cycles have collectively produced at least 50 statewide ballot proposals, according to The Detroit News.

However, voters in Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties will still have a common proposal to be voting on this November.

The proposal would authorize the Regional Transit Authority of Southeastern Michigan to levy a property tax assessment in order to construct a public transportation system for these counties.

This proposed tax assessment would raise an estimated $160,907,285 in the first year alone and would run until 2035, according to the Official Candidate and Proposal List on Oakland County’s website.

Despite the lack of statewide ballot proposals, residents of certain areas will have more locally focused issues to vote on.

Overall, 14 cities, townships and villages in Oakland County have proposals on the ballot.

Residents in Hazel Park will vote on whether to stagger the terms of their mayor and city council members starting in the year 2019.

The City of Pontiac has a proposal to increase residents’ property taxes to open up community centers catered toward youths of 21 or younger, in hopes of curbing the juvenile delinquency rate.

Meanwhile, Lake Orion has a ballot proposal to increase property taxes for police purposes.


Voters’ thoughts

Scott Edward, a 48-year-old Troy resident, doesn’t mind the lack of ballot issues for this year’s election.

“I think it’s great that there are no ballot proposals for this year’s election,” he said. “I’m generally against change when it comes to ballot proposals, because it usually translates into something that costs me money or isn’t socially favorable.”

Alex Vincent, a 22-year-old Oakland University student, has a different tone when it comes to the lack of ballot proposals this November.

“It makes me furious that there are no ballot proposals for this election, especially in light of Gov. Snyder and the state legislative branch’s attitude toward the Michigan Legalize campaign,” he said.  

The MI Legalize campaign’s request to add the legalization of marijuana to the ballot was rejected, because the signatures on their petition had been collected outside of the 180-day window required by the state.

The group argued that this requirement is a breach of Michigan’s constitution.

Despite mixed reviews on the absence of ballot proposals for this election, both Edward and Vincent agree that the Regional Transit Authority proposal on the Oakland County ballot is worth voting for.

“I support mass transportation versus vehicle ownership,” Edward said.

“I worked with so many people who had to spend their whole day traveling,” Vincent said, speaking about his summer job in Detroit. “More buses would be good, in my opinion.”