A Reminder to VOTE, Michigan Absentee Ballots Rolling In, & Gov. Whitmer Boards Have Strong UP University Representation

Photo by Element5 Digital: https://www.pexels.com/photo/i-voted-sticker-spool-on-white-surface-1550336/
Photo by Element5 Digital: https://www.pexels.com/photo/i-voted-sticker-spool-on-white-surface-1550336/


That is all. Just a reminder to vote in the November 3rd election. Vote in person. Vote by mail. Vote by taking your absentee ballot to your local election office and put it in the ballot box. Do it any of these ways. Just vote.

Michigan Absentee Ballots Keep Rolling In

In Michigan, approximately 3 million voters have requested absentee ballots.

As of late last week, over 1.5. million absentee ballots have already been returned to local election offices. There are still eight days to go until November 3rd. State and local election officials are predicting record turnout of voters this year just based on the record number of absentee ballots requested and submitted already.

Election officials in the Upper Peninsula are also reporting record number of absentee ballots submitted early and their ballot requests are also at a record number. Upper Peninsula local election officials are predicting record voter turnout in the 2020 Presidential election year.

The Upper Peninsula is following state and national trends of voter turnout before the November election and at the local polls for in-person voting.

Made A Mistake On Your Absentee Ballot? Have No Fear, You Can Fix It

If you made a mistake filling out your ballot or you have changed your mind on who you voted for, you can fix that problem.

In Michigan, you can go to your local elections office and get a new ballot. Bring the original ballot that you marked in correctly or you want to change and give it to your local election official and they will give you a new ballot to fill out. You can go and do this until 10 a.m. on November 2nd.

You will get a new ballot on the spot when you give them the ballot completed in error. Call your local elections office before hand and check with them on local details on doing this procedure. Might save you some time.

Upper Peninsula Residents On State Boards and Commissions

We have reported here in Whispers several times about various state boards and commissions without any Upper Peninsula representation or even any rural voices from around the state.

We will continue to keep you posted on this because it is important that Upper Peninsula voices be heard during the deliberations and voting on state boards and commissions.  

A Whisperer let us know that the Michigan Redistricting Commission has not one Upper Peninsula citizen on it.

This is the commission that will redesign and redistrict our congressional and state legislative districts. It is a really important that there be rural voices–including Upper Peninsula voices on this commission.

You can find out more about the Michigan Redistricting Commission on the state website:  www.michigan.gov.

Governor Whitmer’s Cabinet and Key Policy Team Has Strong UP and Alumni From LSSU And NMU Representation 

Northern Michigan University and Lake Superior State alumni hold some key policy positions in the administration of Governor Whitmer.

The Governor recently appointed Brom Stibitz as the new Director of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Mr. Stibitz holds a Master of Public Administration from NMU.  

Also the Director of the Department of State Police, Joseph Gasper, is an alumnus of NMU. He has an undergraduate degree in criminology.

In addition, Mark Burton the CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) also is an NMU alumnus. Mr. Burton is one of the closest advisors to Governor Whitmer, having served as her Chief Strategist for the first part of her administration, and was a key staff member when she served in the Michigan Senate.

Lake Superior State University (LSSU) also has its share of staff serving in powerful positions in the Whitmer administration.  Gary McDowell is from Rudyard and is the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. He also served as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives.  

In addition, LSSU Alumnus Pat Gagliardi was appointed by the Governor to Michigan Liquor Control Commission, where he serves as Chairperson. Pat still lives on Drummond Island, which was part of his house district when he served in the Michigan House of Representatives from the Upper Peninsula. 

Historical records tell us that in past administrations Gogebic County’s Don Koivisito served also served as the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Don Koivisto served as a member of the Upper Peninsula legislative delegation in the Michigan Senate (38th District).

Also the Rudyard born Mitch Irwin served as the Director of the Michigan Department of Management and Budget. Mitch Irwin served in the Michigan Senate representing the Upper Peninsula’s 37th Senate District. In today’s world, Mitch Irwin is one of the owners/developers of Marquette’s newest hotel–the Marriott Fairfield Inn, being built at Lake Shore Blvd and US 41 (Front Street). The new 99-room hotel is expected to be open for business in early May 2021.

Quotes (That Make You Go Hmm)

“The basic test of a functioning democracy is its ability to create wealth and see to its fair distribution. When a democratic society does not meet the test of fairness, freedom in in jeopardy.” Felix Rohaytyn.

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered: yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” Thomas Paine. 1776.

Book Recommendations

Do you have one to suggest to us and our readers? Please send us the title, author name and publication date. Send them to david@ruralinsights.org.

None of the book suggestions we publish are endorsements of the book or the author, just suggestions for you to consider.

Recently-suggested books by readers:

“Battlegrounds. The Fight to Defend the Free World.”  H. R. McMaster.  2020

“The Half has Never Been Told. Slavery in the Making of American Capitalism.  Edward Baptist.  2014.

What’s on Your Mind?

Tell us what you would like to see us research and write about in Rural Insights.

Are there issues or ideas that you think are important to the Upper Peninsula that we should explore? We can’t guarantee that we will research every issue or idea that you send us, but we will take a hard look and see what we can find out.

Are there enough data and facts for us to publish, etc. Let us know what you are thinking about. Send your ideas, issues and thoughts to david@ruralinsights.org.

We’d love your feedback! Please email your thoughts and suggestions to david@ruralinsights.org.

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Erin on October 29, 2020 at 9:46 am

    I dropped off three ballots yesterday (mine and both the petite ones)!! Looking forward to a glorious triumph!

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