This article originally appeared in the Detroit News on October 16, 2001 at http://www.detnews.com/2001/editorial/0110/16/a08-319577.htm.

By The Detroit News

Hopefully, the outpouring of patriotism triggered by the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults will translate into a greater participation in the political process.

The goal should be not just to get more voters to the polls, but to make sure those voters are highly informed when they cast their ballots.

To that end, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland has launched a new web site -- www.michiganvotes.org -- to update state residents on how their senators and representatives vote on every issue before the Legislature.

Although the Mackinac Center is generally considered a conservative think tank, it's important to note the new web site does not come with a political ideology attached. The site simply explains the piece of legislation and how the lawmaker voted, without commentary.

Visitors are invited to post their own opinions of legislation and are able to contact lawmakers through the site.

It's a good bit of public service and a convenient way for voters to stay informed.

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