Democracy Drumbeat: April 26, 2022
On March 28, 2022, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission’s new districts for the State House of Representatives (110 districts), Michigan Senate (38 Districts) and the House of Representatives (13 Districts) became law.
This important milestone means that communities across Michigan will have new or altered districts that will be in effect for the next decade, and the 2022 election cycle will be the first time these new maps are used.
Above is a comparison of old and new district maps for the city of Livonia/Ann Arbor Area which serves as an example of changes Michiganders could see to their districts under the new maps.
While the new district maps will only mean slight changes for some communities, others will change more dramatically. It is important to understand what these changes mean and what district you’ll be voting in before heading to the polls for the August primary and ultimately the general election in November.
Starting May 11, the Secretary of State will begin updating the Qualified Voter File (QVF) Street Index for communities that have a May 3 election. If you live in a community that has a May 3 election, this will be the last time the old district maps will be used.
On April 14, 2022, our Elections Systems Manager Mark Payne was recognized by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) for his work tracking Michigan’s first-ever independent, citizen-led redistricting process throughout 2021!
Mark exhibited incredible leadership and dedication, attending every single Commission meeting and helping ensure the Democracy For All team, the greater Michigan LCV and Michigan LCV Ed Fund teams, and the public were informed every step of the way. Thank you for your hard work and dedication, Mark, and congratulations on this very well-deserved honor!
Redistricting Actions You Can Take:
- Find out more about how your district has changed by visiting the MyDistricting website.
- Attend the next MICRC meeting, which will be held virtually on April 28, 2022 at 10:00 AM. To sign up to speak or attend virtually, visit the Commission’s website.
- The filing deadline for candidates to run for office in Michigan’s new districts in the 2022 election was April 19th.
Voting Rights Updates
Voting Season is Underway
On Saturday, April 23, the Democracy for All team tabled at the 2022 Michigan School For Women “Workers Women Rise! Conference” to talk about how it has never been easier to vote in Michigan and the importance of using our access to the ballot this election season.
May 3rd Election
Election season is underway for communities that have a May election. If you live in one of those communities, there will be weekend voting hours at your local clerk's office on Saturday, April 30 and/or Sunday, May 1. To find your clerk’s office to check for weekend voting hours or to double check your polling location if you plan on voting in person on May 3, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center.
866-OUR-VOTE Election Protection Hotline
As we get closer to Election Day, remember that if you have any voting-related questions or need to report a problem voting, call the nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE) or one of the hotlines available in a language other than English.
Voting Rights Actions You Can Take:
- Check the Michigan Voter Information Center to see if you have an election on May 3, track your ballot and application, check your voter registration status, and apply to be on the permanent absentee list.
- Encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Democracy Drumbeat so they can also stay up to date on our work to protect voting rights and democracy.
Democracy All-Stars: Dipita Das
Our “Democracy All-Stars” spotlight features champions working on the frontlines to protect our freedom to vote, engage voters and ensure our democracy works for everyone.
This week’s Democracy All-Star is Dipita Das!
Dipita (she/her) is a proud Bangladeshi immigrant whose work is rooted in uplifting and creating spaces for underrepresented identities in various spaces ranging from democracy to reproductive health. She is always seeking new opportunities to support her local Bangladeshi community as the Bangladeshi population is drastically growing in America.
What compelled you to get involved in voting rights/systems change/democracy work?
My journey in changing democracy work started when I was a youth fellow for A/PIA Youth Summer Fellowship. It was my first time having dialogues and discussions about what it meant to be Asian while living in America during the fellowship. Through this experience, is when I unpacked my lived experiences and developed an understanding of systemic oppression/racism. As an undergraduate, I actively participated in organizations that challenged the current system set in place and helped facilitate other social justice education topics across campus and among youths in metro Detroit.
What democracy issues do you think are most important in your community?
The oldest child of many immigrant families behaves as the third parent in their family because they are the first to learn English and enter academic institutions. My family and I immigrated to the States from Bangladesh in the early 2000s. Being the oldest daughter, I assumed the responsibility of supporting my parents in non-familiar settings as their translator and identifying resources for us to adjust to the States. Identifying ways to keep yourself and your family is a tedious task; thus, an essential issue within my community is creating and identifying resource centers to support new immigrant families in the U.S. while also working to better our education system through investing in a diverse curriculum system that supports students from different backgrounds.
What is one of your proudest moments while working in the democracy space?
While working in the democracy space, my proudest moment was creating a platform for individuals to ask questions related to voting rights, redistricting, and reproductive freedom. Through my leadership experience with PPAM, we have recruited 40 MI residents to speak on behalf of their community for redistricting. On National Voter Registration Day, we registered 100+ college students. Lastly, hosting more workshops about reproductive health and freedom for smaller BIPOC organizations across SE MI is my favorite.
Thank you, Dipita, for your hard work and dedication to helping everyone exercise their freedom to vote!
Do you know someone in your community who is a Democracy All-Star? The Democracy For All team is looking for more Democracy All-Stars, and would love to highlight them and their work fighting for democracy for all. You can send a submission for a Democracy All-Star in your community to [email protected].
Questions & Answer:
Q: Hey, this is Simone from Detroit. I’ve been hearing a lot especially from city staff about proof of residency and I’m never quite sure what they need, like would an ID be enough?
A: Hey Simone, love the submission from Detroit. Proof of residency is a document with your name and address that shows where you currently live. Here are the accepted forms of proof of residency, it can either be paper or electronic copies of any of the following documents: Michigan driver’s license or state ID card, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or any other government document. - Nina Wimberely, Voting Rights Organizer
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If you have questions about the Democracy For All team’s work or topics covered in the Democracy Drumbeat, you can submit your question using this form.
We will review your questions and pick one to answer in the next issue of the Democracy Drumbeat!
Thanks for reading and have a great week!