Democracy Drumbeat: July 19, 2022
August 2 Primary in Michigan
The August 2 primary is two weeks away and the Democracy For All team is focused on spreading the word to ensure every Michigan voter can make their voice heard!
Prior to Election Day, it is important to be aware of all of the voting options available to you and to make a plan about how you are going to vote. Whether it be an absentee ballot, voting in-person ahead of Election Day, or casting your ballot at a satellite polling location or secure drop box in your community, Michigan voters have an array of accessible voting options to choose from. Once you make your voting plan, help your friends and family make their own plans! Our democracy functions best when we all participate.
Registering to Vote and Early Voting
If you haven't registered to vote in Michigan yet, you must go in person to your clerk's office or satellite location before 8 p.m. on Election Day and provide a document showing proof of residency. The document must include your current address and can be in electronic form. You may show:
- A Michigan driver’s license or state ID
- A current utility bill
- A bank statement
- A paycheck
- A government check
- Or another government document
While you are there, you can also vote in-person absentee at the same time!
You can find your city or township clerk's office at Michigan.gov/Vote.
866 Our Vote Hotline
If you have any questions about voting in the August primary or experience any problems accessing your clerk's office or absentee ballot, you can call the nonpartisan election protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) or one of the language specific hotlines:
Spanish - 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682)
Asian Languages - 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683)
Arabic - 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287)
Sign up to be a Poll Challenger
With the August 2 primary election right around the corner, the Democracy for All team is continuing our work to protect and defend our right to vote. One of the ways we’re doing this is by participating in the state’s nonpartisan rapid response program, which is designed to address misinformation and voter suppression whenever and wherever it occurs.
Nonpartisan election challengers are a crucial part of this program and you can sign up to get involved and serve your community!
Nonpartisan election challengers:
- Monitor the election process at the polls, at clerks’ and satellite offices, and at absent voter counting boards
- May challenge poll worker actions if the challenger does not believe that the poll worker is following Michigan’s election law
- Must be registered to vote in Michigan and receive training and credentials
If you’ve never volunteered as a poll challenger before, and don’t know much (or anything!) about Michigan’s election law – no problem! In the weeks leading up to Election Day, our partner Promote the Vote will provide all challengers with comprehensive training on their rights and responsibilities, and on Michigan’s election law.
Challengers are needed throughout the state on Election Day (August 2), both at the polls and at absentee ballot counting boards. While challengers are encouraged to volunteer the entire day, if possible, shorter shifts are also available.
Challengers may also be needed before Election Day (at clerk and satellite offices) and immediately after Election Day at larger absentee ballot counting boards. We strongly encourage those who are interested in serving as challengers during the November general election to sign up to volunteer in August as well, so that they can gain valuable experience before the general election.
Voting Rights Actions You Can Take:
- Sign up here to volunteer as a nonpartisan election challenger for the August 2 primary election.
- Check out our 313 Votes and 616 Votes websites for important election information and voting options in Metro Detroit and West Michigan.
- Download the Know Your Rights Guide - a nonpartisan resource designed to help voters navigate Michigan’s voting laws and ensure we can all successfully cast our ballots - in English, Spanish, Arabic, or Bengali.
- Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center to check your voter registration status, find your new districts, and apply for your absentee ballot and 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: Armani Williamson
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 Armani Williamson!
Armani is currently a member of our Direct Voter Contact (DVC) team, working as an in-person and virtual canvasser with 313 Votes in Detroit! Prior to this, Armani worked with another non-profit organization in the environmental and social justice field.
What compelled you to get involved in voting rights/systems change/democracy work?
In my eyes, when it comes to the overall public knowledge/interest in these topics, my community is not nearly as informed as I feel we should be. However, from my personal experience, this is due to two main reasons: either not knowing about the resources available or being overwhelmed with just how much info there is to begin with. My goal is to help break down everything there is to know and to show as many people as possible just how many awesome resources are available to us.
What democracy issues do you think are most important in your community?
Spreading awareness about our rights as citizens and educating the community on what we should expect from our government/how it works in an easily understandable way.
What is one of your proudest moments while working in the democracy space?
One of my proudest moments would have to be being able to provide information to someone who was indifferent about voting. At that point, regardless of if they decide to vote or not, they can at least go forward making a fully educated decision. If nothing else, we as voters deserve the ability to do that, and to be able to connect people with that info is an honor!
Thank you, Armani, for your hard work and dedication to our democracy!
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: Hi, DFA team! I got my absentee ballot in the mail last week, but I’m not quite sure how to fill it out? Can I vote for both Democrats and Republicans? - Josephine from Ray Township
A: Thanks, Josephine. Don’t split your ticket! In the August primary election, you can only vote for candidates in one party. You can vote for ALL Democrats or ALL Republicans. If you vote for candidates in more than one party, your ballot will be rejected. Check out this short video from our friends at MichiganVoting.com for details. - Brooke Harris, Voting Rights Manager
Submit a question for the Democracy For All team!
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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!