Democracy Drumbeat: March 1, 2022
Special Election Spotlight
Election season is already here for some Michiganders! Polls are open TODAY until 8 p.m. for special election primaries to fill vacated seats in the following State House districts:
- 15th in Wayne County
- 36th in Macomb County
- 43rd in Oakland County
- 74th in Kent County
Before heading to the polls, it's important that you make a plan to vote and make your voice heard. Here are some voting options and resources you can use to make a voting plan for yourself, friends and family:
- Make sure you are registered to vote! You can register to vote and vote until 8 p.m. on Election Day at your local clerk’s office. You can check your voter registration status and find your polling place or local clerk’s office here.
- Return your absentee ballot! If you were mailed an absentee ballot that you have not yet mailed back, you must return it to your local clerk’s office or drop box before 8 p.m. today to make sure your vote is counted. You can find your local clerk’s office here.
- Vote in person on Election Day on Tuesday! Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can check your polling location here.
Today’s special election primaries will determine candidates for the May 3 special election, which will elect state representatives to a partial term serving the four State House districts in Lansing through the end of 2022.
Our democracy functions best when everyone makes their voices heard. Make sure you make a plan to vote and help friends and family members do so as well!
To double check your State House district, check your registration status and learn more about the special elections visit mi.gov/vote.
Voting Rights Actions You Can Take:
- Check your voter registration status and see if you have a special election with the Michigan Voter Information Center at mi.gov/vote.
- Vote in person today until 8 p.m. at your polling place or local clerk’s office, which you can find here.
- 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.
Although several lawsuits filed against the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) remain unresolved, Michigan’s redistricting process continues to move forward.
Barring legal developments in the remaining lawsuits, Michigan’s new district maps are set to become law March 28, 2022 (60 days after adopted plan publication).
April 19, 2022 will be the filing deadline for State House, State Senate and Congressional districts for the August 2, 2022 primary election.
Stay tuned for more developments regarding the newly drawn districts.
Next Steps & Actions You Can Take:
- The Commission’s next meeting will be held virtually on Thursday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Commission will meet virtually through March.
- You can review published final maps, including reference materials and data used in drawing the final maps, here.
Democracy All-Stars: Rotonja Hall
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 Rotonja Hall, the Alternate Case Management Supervisor at Sobriety House! Sobriety House is a Detroit-based organization that offers support and services to those grappling with substance abuse, behavioral health conditions, and addiction. In addition to health-focused services, Sobriety House works to ensure everyone – especially those in recovery – has the information and resources they need to exercise their freedom to vote.
Rotonja grew up on the eastside of Detroit and earned a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wayne State University. She lives in Detroit with her husband and three wonderful children, and is currently working on her Master’s degree. Along with her role at Sobriety House, Rotonja is a fierce advocate for voting rights and education and works to ensure everyone has access to the ballot.
What compelled you to get involved in voting rights/systems change/democracy work?
What compelled me to get involved in voting rights are the underrepresented people in America, especially majority-Black areas. There is already a stigma that the African American community doesn't vote, and I try to change this by getting people registered and helping them get to the polls on Election Day.
What democracy issues do you think are most important in your community?
I think that (the lack of) resources is a major issue and is important in my community. There are just not enough resources for people in the community.
What is one of your proudest moments while working in the democracy space?
One of my proudest moments while working in the democracy space was helping a group of about 30 guys vote in the presidential election! Some of the guys were first time voters in their 50's. It was amazing to help get them registered and help them get to the polls!
Thank you, Rotonja, 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].
Past Democracy All-Star Update
In our first Democracy All-Star Spotlight in early February, we highlighted voting rights champion Charles Thomas and his work on an event to build momentum for a voter turnout campaign called “When You Vote - Win,” which will run through the 2022 election cycle.
Charles’ “Three Marches - Two Sisters - One Bridge” event was hosted on February 8 in collaboration with the League of Women Voters - Detroit and the Detroit Public Library and was a smashing success! If you missed the event, you can watch a recording of it here.
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!