OUR VIEW: Get informed before voting

By Daily News • Last Updated 10:18 am on Thursday, October 18, 2012

Election day is less than a month away and political forums seem to be popping up everywhere.

Twin Ponds Sports Shop in Stanton hosted one such event on Aug. 20, sponsored by the Mid-Michigan United Sportsmen’s Alliance. The forum gave 70th District State House Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, and challenger Mike Huckleberry, D-Greenville, a chance to go head-to-head on such topics as drilling for oil in the Great Lakes (Outman says “yes,” Huck says “no”), land caps for hunting and conservation areas (Outman says “yes,” Huck says “no”) and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” (Outman says “yes,” Huck says “no”).

VFW Post 5065 in Sheridan hosted its always popular and well-attended candidate forum on Oct. 4, featuring eight candidates and a handful of special interest groups representatives.

Huckleberry and Outman were again given a chance to face off, as were Montcalm County drain commissioner candidates Sandy Raines, R-Sidney, and Shane Jacobs, D-Howard City.

Events such as these are a great way to meet candidates face-to-face, ask them direct questions and hear them explain their views in their own words. They are working for you, after all.

If you haven’t been able to attend a local political forum yet, no worries. You have a few more chances.

• Tim Skubick, anchor and producer of the weekly public television series “Off the Record,” is bringing a town hall meeting to Greenville at 7 p.m. Thursday. Skubick will offer his own insights about candidates and aims to help participants understand a variety of election issues. The presentation will take place in room M129 of the Stanley & Blanche Ash Technology & Learning Center (formerly M-TEC) in Greenville.

• The Howard City VFW will host a candidate forum on Thursday evening, featuring a dinner at 6 p.m. and a Q&A with the candidates at 6:45 p.m. Candidates from the State Senate level down to the local level have been invited to participate.

• A Meet the Candidates event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 23 in room M129 of the Stanley & Blanche Ash Technology & Learning Center in Greenville. Hosted by Rick Albin of WOOD TV 8, the forum will include candidates for U.S. House District 3 and District 4, 70th District State House, Montcalm County Board of Commissioners, Montcalm County drain commissioner, Eureka Township and Montcalm Township. The event is being planned and facilitated by Greenville High School government students, which is inspiring in and of itself.

We highly recommend checking out one of these events, or at least doing some basic research about the candidates and issues before voting on election day Nov. 6.

Every election is important in its own way and this year’s results will affect many.

 Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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