Decision 2022: What’s on the ballot in Upper Michigan?

TV6's Don Ryan takes us through the decisions facing voters
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 8:34 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Will you be at the polls to cast your votes on Tuesday? If you are, you may want to do some planning before you get there. Looking through ballots in Upper Michigan, it’s clear we have a lot of choices to make in this election -- possibly more than you were anticipating.

Much of the focus is on the top of the ticket with the races for governor, attorney general and secretary of state. We’ll also be choosing someone to represent us in Congress, but there’s a lot more. We’ll be selecting people to represent us in the state legislature as we select a state senator and a state representative. We’ll be voting in the 38th Senate district and depending on where you live, in the 108th, 109th or 110th House district.

But that’s only the beginning, and it gets more challenging from here. The ballot contains races for several state boards, and this is the area where many of us have no idea who the candidates are. The races include the State Board of Education, Regents of the University of Michigan, Trustees of Michigan State University and Governors of Wayne State University. We need to pick two members for each of those boards. A lot of us throw up our hands and say, “I don’t know any of these people. Who do I vote for?” If you aren’t willing to do a lot of research to learn more about the candidates, you should know they are nominated by the political parties and that designation is noted on the ballot so one option is to pick the candidates based on party affiliation.

You should also be aware of county races on the partisan ballot. County commissioners are up for election this term, however, county officers like sheriff, clerk and others are generally not. Be aware there are exceptions in some counties with races to fill an unexpired term, so watch out for that.

One thing you should know is that in this election you can vote a straight party ticket. In fact, it’s one of the first choices on the ballot. However, be aware that it only covers partisan races. There’s a lot that doesn’t cover. Many of our communities have contests for city offices and school boards, and they are not part of the partisan ballot.

Judicial races are also not included when you vote a straight party ticket and that includes the Michigan Supreme Court where you have two choices to make. Again, you may not be familiar with the names so it may be helpful to know that even though they are non-partisan races, the candidates are nominated by the political parties. The Democratic Party nominees are Richard Bernstein and Kyra Harris Bolden. The Republican Party nominees are Brian Zahra and Paul Hudson. It may also be helpful to know that current incumbents are identified on the ballot as Justice of the Supreme Court.

Judge of the Court of Appeals is also on this year’s ballot; however, the two incumbents are running unopposed for re-election. Depending on where you live, you may also have a choice to make for Judge of the Circuit Court or Judge of the District Court.

Finally, there are three statewide proposals this year dealing with term limits, voting rights and abortion. Some communities may also have local proposals.

You can click here to see the ballot where you live.

With a ballot this long, there is a lot of appeal to fill it out in the comfort of your home with an Absent Voter ballot. But with some pre-planning you can do it at the polls.