With voting day just around the corner (and millions of absentee ballots already cast), many people are getting tired of all the political ads with which we are being bombarded with on television and radio, on billboards and online. There’s truly no place to hide. You may have already seen the 4 year old who is in tears because she’s tired of hearing about “Bronco Bamma” and Mitt Rommey. Many of us feel your pain Abigael. However what bothers me more is the blatant lack of respect and the misleading mistruths in most of the ads. The government is so judicial when it comes to truth in advertising for claims made by companies, I often wonder why the same rules don’t apply for political ads. In Michigan, as in every state around the country, there are also state propositions and initiatives on the ballot. For the marginally informed (those who only watch the ads), often the ploys of expert marketers, who go straight for the emotions, can be effective. No one wants our kid’s teachers to be underpaid, but do you think it’s fair to hold your children’s futures hostage for political gain or for special interests not at all related to your child’s education? You need to try to separate fact from fiction, to find out who is backing the proposals and make your decision based on the facts. And watch out for proposals that protect special interests or monopoly owners. Ballot wording can also be tricky. Sometimes a YES vote will increase taxes, sometimes a NO vote will increase spending. You have to read the measures carefully and know exactly what you’re voting for. I’m not the only one who has a healthy disdain for the media. There has been a huge increase in the number of fact checking organizations available online, and now it seems you need to fact-check the fact checkers it’s gotten so out of hand. Voting day will not mean an end to false advertising, newscasters attempting to talk over one another like a bad political debate or special interest groups that lie to the public. Please take some time this weekend to really become informed on important issues and candidates. Try to keep from breaking out in tears like young Abigael and don’t let the bad ads prevent you from exercising one of our most important rights–the right to vote. Read carefully, and choose wisely. Your future and the future of your kids and grandkids depends upon it.