Democracy Drumbeat: October 26, 2021
Vote Before Election Day: Weekend voting available across the state this weekend!
With Election Day a week away, it is imperative that everyone knows about their voting options and has a plan to vote ahead of or on Tuesday, Nov. 2nd!
Did you know that there is no need to wait until Nov. 2 to exercise your freedom to vote? You can vote before Election Day at your clerk’s office or a satellite location, including this weekend. If you still need to return your absentee ballot you can return it to your satellite location as well, or to your nearest dropbox. Ballots must be received by close of polls, 8pm on Election day, Tuesday Nov. 2nd.
If you are already registered and satellite locations are part of your plan to vote, just remember that you must do so by 4 PM Monday, Nov. 1st. On Election Day, satellites can only be used by voters who are utilizing same-day voter registration.
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, our voting rights should be respected and we all should have a voice in our democracy.
Several members of the DFA team have already voted at their satellite locations or via secure drop boxes, making sure their ballots are cast and their voices are heard! We encourage you to do the same. Make a plan to vote today and cast your ballot at your satellite location, at your local clerk’s office during weekend voting hours this upcoming weekend, or by finding a secure drop box in your area!
Anti-Voter Legislation Update
Coordinated attempts to attack our democracy and freedom to vote in Michigan continue, with the Michigan House passing anti-voter bills -- Senate Bills 303 and 304 and House Bill 5007 -- on October 14th and the signature collection process for the so-called “Secure MI Vote” ballot initiative underway across the state.
Not only do these bills and the petition create barriers to the ballot for Michigan voters, they also hamper our local clerks by prohibiting them from seeking out much needed grants and from accepting in-kind donations, including donated space for voter registration events and polling places used before on Election Day. Historically, local clerks have relied on donated space to safely and securely run Michigan’s elections, and many of the spaces donated are churches and places of worship. If these changes are enacted, at least 15% of Michigan’s polling places -- polling locations that communities have voted at for decades -- would be eliminated.
The anti-voter bills now sit on Gov. Whitmer’s desk, and it is expected she will back up the will of Michigan voters to make sure our elections remain free, fair, secure, and accessible to all by vetoing them. After Michiganders overwhelmingly passed Proposition 3 in 2018 to increase access to the ballot for all, we should be building off this success. These bills take us backward.
The DFA team continues its work to promote the importance of voting rights, the security of Michigan’s electoral system, and educate the public about the anti-voter bills in Lansing.
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 at mi.gov/vote, remind and help family and friends register, and check your polling place to make sure you are prepared ahead of Election Day!
- Share with your friends and family the message that the anti-voter petition and bills in our legislature seek to make it harder to vote full stop.
Redistricting: Public hearings conclude tonight, next round of deliberations kicks off tomorrow
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) is wrapping up its series of five public hearings today with the last hearing in Flint, MI. The five hearings over the past week served as another opportunity for Michiganders to engage in the redistricting process and make their voices heard to the Commission, providing feedback on ten draft proposed maps released two weeks ago.
These public hearings were vitally important, especially because the Commission must take into account a number of factors when drawing Michigan’s new maps, including population deviations, Black voting age population, compactness scores, and partisan test results, to ensure the new district maps accurately reflect and represent the communities within them.
Now, the Commission will begin deliberations and make adjustments to the draft proposed maps, taking into account the feedback commissioners received during the public hearings. The deliberations begin tomorrow, October 27th in East Lansing at MSU Union Hall and are scheduled to conclude with a vote on which maps will be approved to advance on November 5th.
Redistricting Actions You Can Take:
- Submit a public comment through the online Public Comment Tool.
- Today is the last of five public hearings. It will be held at the Dort Center in Flint. If you would like to testify virtually you must sign-up by 3 PM. If you would like to testify in-person, you can sign up until 7 PM tonight.
- If you would like to watch the deliberations that begin tomorrow and run through November 5th 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]