10/09/2012 02:48 pm ET Updated Dec 09, 2012

Will You Make the Choice and Honor the Right to Vote?

You have a choice in the November 6th General Election. Many around the world are in conflict and are denied the right to vote or run for elected office.

Your vote counts! Don't allow someone else to make the choice for you next month.

The deadline to register to vote is looming, if you haven't done so already. This Tuesday, October 9th is the final day in Michigan. If you are at least 18 years of age, make sure to register at a Michigan Secretary of State office or begin the registration process online via

It wasn't too long ago that people of color and women fought for the right to vote here in the United States. Today, it's taken for granted.

In our busy lives we may forget the sacrifices made to secure the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. We not only have the right to vote, but we may also openly debate the issues and discuss who we plan to vote for and why we plan to vote. Even in 2012, there are nations where people will be persecuted for publicly discussing and disagreeing with their government leaders.

I encourage you to consider what voting means to you, your family, our community, our state and our nation. Don't give up your vote because you're disturbed by the rhetoric. Your voice needs to be heard in this election!

Tuesday, November 6 is a monumental General Election. We will choose the president of the United States, our United States Senator who represents Michigan and Congressional members. Members of the Michigan House of Representatives are up for election. The position I serve as Wayne County Sheriff is up for election, as well as the offices of the Wayne County Prosecutor and Treasurer and county Commissioners. There are also numerous ballot initiatives for Michigan, Wayne County, Detroit and other cities.

I urge you to take the following steps. First, make sure you're registered to vote. Second, mark your calendar to commit time to vote on November 6 and write down your polling location. Third, spend some time getting to know the candidates and ballot initiatives before you head to the polls so you're not overwhelmed with the information. Finally, encourage your family and friends to vote, no matter if you agree or disagree with their choices.

I understand that citizens get annoyed by the negative ads, altered facts and are concerned about integrity and ethics in our leaders. However, the real truth is in the track record and other data about the candidates and ballot questions. It's also in your gut feeling.

There are non-partisan organizations that provide voter information. This includes which has a depth of voter information and interviews with candidates in Michigan, and which displays your ballot and links to candidate websites.

Please commit to voting on Tuesday, November 6th. It is a dishonor to our past, our present and our future to not vote in this election. Please register by October 9th.