Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

Democracy Drumbeat: October 12, 2021

Vote Before Election Day: Detroit Satellites Opened Monday!

Between absentee ballots and voting before Election Day at your clerk’s office or a satellite location, there’s no need to wait until November 2 to exercise your freedom to vote.

In Detroit, satellite locations have reopened across every city council district! Voters can both apply and then vote in-person absentee, as well as register to vote and then vote in-person absentee at the location most convenient to you Monday through Friday 9 AM - 4 PM. Satellite locations will also be open throughout Halloween weekend!

If satellites are part of your plan to vote, just remember that you must do so by 4 PM Monday, November 1st. On Election Day, satellites can only be used to vote for those who are utilizing same day voter registration services.

Need help making your voting plan? Check out the Michigan Voter Information Center at mi.gov/vote.

And as a reminder you can always visit 313votes.org for up to date information about voting in the city of Detroit.

As we use the historic expansion of voting freedoms that Michiganders overwhelmingly passed in 2018, it is important to remember that no matter what we look like or where we come from, Michiganders believe our voting rights should be respected and we all should have a voice in our democracy.

Anti-Voter Petition Update

Last week, the Michigan legislature introduced and passed a revised set of bills that mirror the anti-voter petition currently in circulation. Both efforts seek to create barriers to the ballot for Michiganders across the state.

In response to last week’s developments in Lansing and the vote sending the revised bills to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk, the Michigan LCV Education Fund team swiftly issued a press statement condemning the vote and explaining the danger these bills present to our freedom to vote in Michigan. You can read the full statement here.

As revised legislation shifts to mirror the policy of the anti-voter ballot initiative, it is abundantly clear that lawmakers are no longer trying to disguise these bills as “reforms” to Michigan’s electoral system, but are blatantly trying to make it harder to vote in the Great Lakes state. In 2018, Michigan voters overwhelmingly passed meaningful reforms that expanded access to the ballot, helping ensure every Michigan voter has a chance to make their voice heard during our elections. With the bills now on Gov. Whitmer’s desk, it is expected that she will veto these dangerous pieces of legislation and back up the will of Michigan voters to make sure our elections remain free, fair, secure, and accessible to all.

The DFA team continues its work to promote the importance of voting rights, the security of Michigan’s electoral system, and the danger that this ballot initiative and the anti-voter bills in Lansing pose to Michigan voters across our state.

Voting Rights Actions You Can Take:

Tell your friends they can vote before Election Day and if you live in Detroit, share the satellite location details!

If you have already registered, make sure to double check your registration status, remind and help family and friends register, and check your polling place to make sure you are prepared ahead of Election Day!

Help spread the message that the anti-voter petition and bills in our legislature seek to make it harder to vote full stop.

Redistricting: Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission finish first round of map drawing October 11, 2021

Yesterday, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) voted on the proposed district maps, selecting ten draft maps that will be available to the public for input during the second round of public hearings between October 20 - 26th. In addition to the selected maps, Commissions have a deadline of Thursday, October 14th to submit their own alternative maps to the Secretary of State ahead of the hearings.

For a deeper look at the ten proposed maps, here is a spreadsheet of a compliance analysis of the draft maps the Commission voted on. The analysis is focused on ensuring that the maps take into account important requirements related to population deviations, Black voting age population, compactness scores, and partisan test results for each proposed map.

As a reminder, you have the right to submit a comment on the Commission’s draft maps and/or submit your own maps via the Commission’s website. Comments about how your community of interest would best be represented and ensuring a fair and transparent process is followed are particularly important at this time.

The second round of public hearings begins Oct 20th in Detroit at TCF Center: Join us for a kick-off event this Thursday!

On October 14th from 6:00 - 7:00 PM, the DFA team is hosting a “How to Engage in Redistricting Public Hearings” virtual event that will be streamed on Zoom and Facebook Live!

Our redistricting expert Mark Payne, Quentin Turner of Common Cause MI, and Loida Tapia of the Michigan Nonprofit Association will discuss how you can speak-up effectively at the Commissions upcoming public hearings.

Following the release of the proposed maps this week, this round of public hearings is the next important opportunity to engage. The public will then have the opportunity to speak for 1 minute and 30 seconds (either in-person or virtually) at five public hearings that will be held across the state between October 20th and October 26th.

These public hearings are critical. The Commission needs to hear from YOU! Public engagement ensures the district maps are drawn accurately and also fairly represent the constituents of communities across Michigan.

We encourage you to sign up to make your voice heard to the Commission through public comment at the five upcoming hearings, either in-person or virtually. Here are a list of the upcoming hearings and links to our sign-up page:

Redistricting Actions You Can Take:

Register to attend the DFA team’s upcoming “How to Engage in Redistricting Public Hearings” virtual event on October 14, 2021 from 6 PM to 7 PM, streamed live on Zoom and via Facebook. Reserve your spot by registering here.

Submit a public comment through the online Public Comment Tool.

Meet the Commission! The MICRC is now holding in-person weekly meetings, rotating locations across the state. See the full schedule and more information on participating in the redistricting process here.

If you would like to watch the meetings or learn more about the Commission please visit the MICRC website. After going to the website, you can click on Meeting Notices and Agenda. This will allow for you to sign up to attend remotely or virtual attendance and provide public comment to the Commission.

If you would like additional details and information, please email our redistricting lead Mark Payne at [email protected].