Whoever comes out on top of the Nov. 7 race for attorney general will have big shoes to fill. Jennifer Granholm, the previous attorney general, is currently running for governor on a reputation she earned while she was the state’s top cop.

Republican Mike Cox is currently competing for the position against Democratic candidate Gary Peters, and has run on a platform of beefing up law enforcement. While it is certainly within the job description to aggressively combat crime, the attorney general should remain primarily concerned with prevention, not simply the prosecution of criminal acts. Cox’s opponent, Democrat Gary Peters, has distanced himself in this arena, by focusing on crime prevention and being content to let local prosecutors do the prosecuting of criminal acts. Furthermore, Peters has pledged to continue Granholm’s work in consumer protection. He has expressed intent to combat insurance companies redlining an area, or raising the premiums of homes in that area in the name of adjusting for crime rates. Redlining is unethical and provides a convenient forum for racial discrimination.

The attorney general should be a position focused on the prosecution of societal issues beyond the scope of local authorities. Cox’s platform, though it certainly has its merits, does not focus enough on these issues. Gary Peters seems willing to go after the problems affecting more residents and students. The Michigan Daily endorses Gary Peters for attorney general.

Recent hitches in elections across the country and in Michigan highlight the importance of the job of secretary of state. This Tuesday, local attorney Melvin “Butch” Hollowell (D) and Republican Terri Land will face off for this position. Butch Hollowell has proven himself the better candidate.

Hollowell plans to bring much-needed vision to the secretary of state’s office. He proposes to increase access to absentee ballots. In addition, he plans to help ease restrictions that force students to change their addresses in order to vote if they are away at college. The current policies have had the effect of depressing student voting.

The debacles in Florida elections have demonstrated the need for simple, uniform voting procedures across the state. Hollowell wants every Michigan voter to be voting on optical scanning systems. Land, however, does not believe that putting optical scanners across the state is worth the expense. Incredibly, she would allow punch card ballot systems to remain in use. Hollowell also has plans to streamline the secretary of state bureaucracy. One plan to increase efficiency at branch offices would put a “greeter” in each office. These greeters would shorten lines by helping to direct citizens and assisting them in filling out paperwork.

Hollowell has plans to address decreasing voter turnout, especially among young voters, as well. He is working to set up mock Internet elections for students who are not yet old enough to vote, elections that would pit historical figures against each other. Because of his competence, intelligence, and innovative ideas, The Michigan Daily enthusiastically endorses Melvin “Butch” Hollowell for Michigan secretary of state.

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