Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

Democracy Drumbeat: June 21, 2022

Voting Rights Updates

Voting Early for the August Primary Election

Absentee ballots will be mailed this Thursday, June 23. If you've applied for one, keep an eye out for your ballot to arrive in the mail. You can track your ballot at the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.mi.gov/vote.

Once you receive your ballot, fill it out, place it in the envelope provided, and sign the outside of the envelope using your official signature (like your driver’s license signature).

Turn in your signed ballot by dropping it off at your clerk’s office, satellite, or secure drop box as soon as you can and no later than the close of polls at 8pm on August 2, 2022.

Starting Thursday, June 23, you will also be able to vote absentee in person at your local clerk’s office. You can also find their location and hours via the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.mi.gov/vote.

2022 Direct Voter Contact Program

During each election year, the Democracy For All team engages voters and works to get out the vote. Through our robust Direct Voter Contact (DVC) program, we bring together individuals who share a passion for democracy, voting rights, and access to the ballot centered around a core group of canvassers who log thousands of calls to ensure Michigan voters are aware of upcoming elections and voting options, helping people make a plan to vote and make sure their voices are heard.

Our Direct Voter Contact team started their in-person work last week, visiting several farmers markets throughout Detroit to provide voters with information on how to vote before Election Day and check out their new districts.

You can catch our team at the following locations from now through Election Week:

In years past, our efforts have been focused on the Metro Detroit area under the banner of our 313 Votes brand, but this year marks the first time we are expanding to the western part of Michigan with 616 Votes. With the addition of the West Michigan-focused 616 Votes website, our DVC program will be stronger and allow us to engage more voters than ever before!

Election Season in Michigan - Key Dates

As we get closer to the August primary, here are a few important dates to keep in mind as you begin making your plan to vote over the next several months:

  • June 23, 2022: In-Person Absentee Voting Begins - Absent voter ballots must be available for issuance to voters

  • July 1, 2022: Deadline for clerks to set satellite polling locations, dates, and times

  • July 12, 2022: Regular appointment deadline for poll workers

  • August 2, 2022: Statewide primary election

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 absentee ballots, 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.

Voting Rights Actions You Can Take:

  • 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.

Redistricting Updates

Although Michigan’s first-ever citizen-driven redistricting process has all but concluded, understanding the implications of how our State House, State Senate and Congressional districts have changed is important when it comes to voting in Michigan's 2022 elections.

While 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 2, 2022 Statewide Primary and ultimately the general election in November.

If you have been impacted by redistricting, your local clerk will send you a new voter information card with updated information. You can also check your districts, your precinct, and your polling location by visiting the Michigan Voter Information Center at mi.gov/vote.

Redistricting Actions You Can Take:

  • Check your districts, precinct, and polling location information at mi.gov/vote.

  • Review the new interactive district maps on the Commission’s website and encourage your friends and family to get to know their new districts. Maps can be accessed here.

Democracy All-Stars: Talice Saxton

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 Talice Saxton!

Talice is a 33-year-old mother of one and college graduate on her way to becoming a licensed practical nurse. She has lived in Detroit her whole life and has a deep love for her city. There is no other place in the world like it, she says!

What compelled you to get involved in voting rights/systems change/democracy work?

What made me get involved in voting rights work was that I knew I could talk to anybody and get them to think differently about the importance of voting and help them understand your vote counts and can help create positive changes in our lives.

What democracy issues do you think are most important in your community?

Voting is the democracy issue that is most important because there are still so many people that feel like it’s not going to matter if they don’t vote, or they feel like they don’t have a voice. This leads to smaller turnouts during elections and hurts our community as a whole. We have to understand and know that our vote, which is our voice, is all we have. We have to exercise the right to go vote, and that's something no one can take from us as Americans.

What is one of your proudest moments while working in the democracy space?

My proudest moment while working in the democracy space was working at the TCF Center in downtown Detroit as a poll worker for the biggest election in history in November of 2020. I had the job of inputting the information for mail-in votes and I met so many different people that all had a passion for voting rights and democracy. I worked for two days straight, counting over 30,000 votes. The entire experience of meeting really smart, intelligent people that I never knew cared about us and our city as much as I do was amazing. I was so proud of being a part of history!

Thank you, Talice, for your hard work and dedication to 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, I have a question. English isn’t my first language and I feel more comfortable reading in Spanish. Do I have any options for voting?

A: Thanks for your question! There are an array of resources that make voting easier for those that need translations. First, the Know Your Rights Guide is a nonpartisan resource designed to help voters navigate Michigan’s voting laws and ensure we can all successfully cast our ballots. You can download guides at MichiganVoting.org, and translated guides are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, or Bengali.

Additionally, some Michigan communities have built-in resources for voters that need help with translations. Voters in Clyde Township, Covert Township, and the City of Fennville have a federally-protected right to a ballot and election materials in Spanish. Similarly, voters in Hamtramck have federally-protected rights to a ballot and election materials in Bengali.

If you or someone needs language assistance you have the right to choose anyone to help you fill out your ballot, as long as they are not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union. - Nina Wimberley, 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!