Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

Democracy Drumbeat: October 25, 2022

Democracy All-Stars: The People Who Make Our Elections Work

The importance of a fair, accessible, and secure democracy cannot be overstated. Voting in elections is how we make our voices heard, elect our leaders, and affect change in our communities. But our democracy only works if everyone can participate in elections that work for everyone.

In partnership with Common Cause Michigan, Michigan LCV is launching Democracy All-Stars: The People Who Make Our Elections Work, a collection of videos that tell the stories of Michiganders from across the state working on the frontlines of democracy to protect the freedom to vote, engage voters, and ensure our democracy works for everyone. Like our “Democracy All-Star” spotlights, these videos share the perspectives of voters, election workers, volunteers, and clerks of different backgrounds from all over the state and provide a look at the hard work and dedication required to make Michigan’s elections accessible, accurate, and secure.

As the videos are released, we would appreciate your help in amplifying the stories of these incredible individuals whose hard work and dedication make our elections work! Our first video, which tells Todd’s story of working as a precinct chairperson, is live on Twitter and Facebook!

Click here to share Todd’s story on Twitter and click here to share on Facebook.

Democracy All-Stars: Nina Wimberley

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 Nina Wimberley!

Nina Wimberley was born and raised in Detroit, MI. She is a Detroit public school alumni, and completed her B.S. at Bowling Green State University in 2019 with a degree in Environmental Science with a focus on restoration. She has worked in the Detroit public school district, political scene and the environmental sector for our overall community health. Nina has partnered with the Detroit Zoological Society, Michigan DNR, Sierra club, Audubon Society, and Michigan League of Conservation Voters for advancement in environmental justice for Detroit. Nina currently works as the project coordinator for Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision continuing her work with the community.

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

What first compelled me to get involved in voting rights work was a personal goal of always putting the tools and resources back in the community’s hands. I saw how much politicians and laws directly impacted my peers and my life which made it a space I wanted to explore and learn more about.

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

What democracy issue I feel is the most important in my community is environmental impact and communal support. Right now a lot of families are experiencing sickness, extreme weather, property damages or high bills and people are rightly more focused on their quality of life and what could happen to disrupt that. We as a community need to start building in relief and support for our neighbors and families so they don't have to make tough decisions about what they need to keep vs what they want. We should all be working towards improving the community's quality of life. If we start building in the tools now we won't need to figure it out later when the need is more imminent.

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

One of the proudest moments while working in the democracy space was running the largest direct voter contact program in the state of Michigan. I had such an amazing team supporting and growing with me and we did some real work. Each wave we were able to top ourselves and I know that was because this is a space where you need community to thrive. We created communities with phone banking, tabling in farmer markets, or even showing up to different political events in our own community. I'm so excited to see how the program continues to grow because it is a real need in our space.

Thank you, Nina, 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].

Democracy Updates

Sign up to be a Poll Challenger

With the November 8th general 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 clerk 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 (November 8), both at the polls and at absentee ballot counting boards. While challengers are encouraged to volunteer the entire day, shorter shifts are also available if necessary.

Challengers may also be needed before Election Day (at clerk and satellite offices) and immediately after Election Day at larger absentee ballot counting boards.

If you are interested in volunteering as a poll challenger, email Voting Rights Manager Brooke Harris at [email protected].

Voter Turnout Call to Action

Join us, the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, and the When You Vote I Win project for a voter turnout celebration at Clark Park (1130 Clark St) this Friday, October 28 from 3:30 to 7 pm.

Sign up today and commit to casting your ballot at whenyouvoteiwin.org.

Democracy Actions You Can Take

Register to Vote and Vote Now!

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 pm 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
  • another government document

You can also vote in-person absentee at the same time!

You can find your city or township clerk's office at mi.gov/vote.

Election Season in Michigan - Key Dates

With election season underway, here are a few important dates to keep in mind as elections approach and folks begin making their plans to vote over the next several months:

  • October 24, 2022: Last day to register in any manner other than in-person with the local clerk for the November general election

  • November 8, 2022: Statewide general election

Ahead of the November general election, 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’s 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 everyone can make their voices heard.

Submit a question for the Democracy For All team!

Do you have questions for us? We want to hear from you!

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!