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NOVEMBER ELECTION INFORMATION

Vote411.org

1. The League's non-partisan, on-line voter guide, VOTE411.org is now available with candidate and race information for the November election. You can also check your registration and polling place.  The print version of the voter guide may also be accessed by clicking here.  Printed voter guides will be available soon around the state.


2. Absentee ballots were made available on September 22. A form is available here. When completed it must be sent or delivered to your township or city clerk.  Registered voters may obtain an absentee voter ballot if they are age 60 years or older, unable to vote without assistance at the polls, expecting to be out of town on election day, in jail awaiting arraignment or trial. unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons or appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence. Local clerks are required to hold office hours until 2 pm on Saturday, Nov. 3 to accomodate absentee ballots on the weekend prior to the election. 


3. The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, October 9.


4. Election day is Tuesday, November 6, and polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


5. On the November 2018 ballot, the straight-ticket voting option is not available for the first time in 127 years. Consider the following: Be prepared by using our voter guide or www.vote411.org to learn candidates views before you go to vote. Plan to vote during slower times such as between 9 a.m. and noon and between 1 - 4 p.m. Vote absentee if you are eligible.

LEAGUES AROUND MICHIGAN OFFER CANDIDATE FORUMS AND BALLOT PROPOSAL PRESENTATIONS
There are numerous League of Women Voters candidate forums and ballot proposal presentations being held around the state. Click here to find the local League in your area. Click on the local League's website and search their event or calendar page.
LEAGUE SUPPORTS BALLOT PROPOSALS #2 AND #3

The League of Women Voters of Michigan supports Proposal 2, which will create an Independent Redistricting Commission. This constitutional amendment will establish an impartial commission of voters (not politicians) who will be charged with creating new district maps for state and congressional offices that cannot favor one party or candidate. This commission will operate in a completely transparent manner and will create maps based on fair criteria. Currently, politicians draw their own voting maps, and have the power to hand-pick their voters. Gerrymandering benefits politicians, and hurts the rest of us, regardless of our political preferences. When politicians choose their voters, our votes don’t matter and our voices aren’t heard. The League urges a YES vote on Proposal 2 so that voters can choose their politicians. For for more information, visit votersnotpoliticans.com

The League also supports Proposal 3, "Promote the Vote", which helps ensure that every eligible person can vote and every vote will count. This proposal safeguards our elections with audits and more accurate voting lists and removes barriers that can make it harder for citizens to fulfill their responsibility to vote. This constitutional amendment will:

  • Protect the right to vote a secret ballot
  • Ensure military service members and overseas voters get their ballots in time for their votes to count
  • Provide voters with the option to vote straight party
  • Automatically register citizens to vote at the Secretary of State’s office unless the citizen declines
  • Allow a citizen to register to vote anytime with proof of residency
  • Provide all registered voters access to an absentee ballot for any reason
  • Ensure the accuracy and integrity of elections by auditing election results

Many Michigan City and Township clerks support the proposal. Read the press release here from the Lansing Area Clerks who endorse Proposal 3 because it will boost voter participation and protect election integrity. The League urges a YES vote on Proposal 3 which provides a common-sense approach to removing barriers to voting for working families, safeguarding our elections and putting voters first. For more information, visit promotethevotemi.com.

LWVMI FILES FEDERAL LAWSUIT TO END GERRYMANDERING IN MICHIGAN

On December 22, 2017, The League of Women Voters of Michigan and 11 individual voters filed a lawsuit against the State of Michigan in federal court in Detroit to end unfair, partisan gerrymandering of Michigan’s Congressional, state senate and state house districts.

“The Michigan League of Women Voters today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of voters throughout Michigan to end the practice of unfair, partisan gerrymandering,” said Judy Karandjeff, president of the Michigan League of Women Voters. “Michigan’s State House, Senate and Congressional districts are among the worst in the nation when it comes to partisan gerrymandering, and today’s lawsuit aims to fix the problem and restore voters’ rights to choose who best represents them. Ending partisan gerrymandering is critical to preserve our democracy and ensure every vote counts,” said Sue Smith, director of the League’s Redistricting Program.

The lawsuit asks the federal court to declare the current districts to be unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders and to ensure that the districts are redrawn in a fair fashion. Click here for the complete Press Release. Click here to read the Complaint.

On December 27, 2017, U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood signed an order allowing a three judge panel to hear the case. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr., and two other judges will preside over the case. Read the Detroit News article here.   Details about the progression of the lawsuit through the court can be found here.

We welcome donations to assist with the lawsuit costs.  Please click on the "Donate to LWVMI Education Fund"  button on the right.  Thanks!

REDISTRICTING REFORM IN MICHIGAN

The League of Women Voters of Michigan supports the ballot proposal initiated by Voters Not Politicians (VNP), that calls for an Independent Commission to establish district lines. On December 18, 2017, VNP submitted the requisite number of petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. We congratulate VNP on its successful efforts.

The League of Women Voters of Michigan continues to educate Michigan voters about the need for redistricting reform. Redistricting is a complicated topic, but citizen involvement to make this process fair is critical. Click here to visit our Redistricting "Issue" page to read more about the process in Michigan. The League is committed to redistricting reform in Michigan and to working to form a diverse coalition. Using the attached Power Point presentation, League members are travelling around the state educating voters about the redistricting problems in our state and the need for an Independent Commission. If you represent a group that would like a presentation by a LWV speaker, please contact the League of Women Voters of Michigan's state office at 517-484-5383.

LINE 5 PIPELINES:  AN AVOIDABLE ENVIRONMENTAL RISK

The League of Women Voters of Michigan is one of 21 members of the Oil and Water Don't Mix Coalition that sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ("MDEQ") and the US Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps") on June 29, 2017 regarding Enbridge Oil Company’s joint application to the MDEQ and the Corps (No. 2RD-DFDK-Y35G) to install 22 anchor supports on the Line 5 pipelines in the Mackinac Straits. The Coalition members are Michigan organizations dedicated to the protection of Michigan’s water, natural resources, public trust in those resources, the environment, communities, and the health, safety and general welfare of citizens.

The Coalition organizations are requesting that MDEQ and the Corps take the following actions with regard to Enbridge’s joint application:
1. Reject as incomplete due to its overly narrow scope of review;
2. Require a comprehensive review of Line 5 in the Straits that includes an assessment of adverse environmental impacts, risks, and feasible and prudent alternatives;
3. Temporarily terminate the transport of crude oil in the Line 5 pipelines during this comprehensive review; and
4. Hold a formal public hearing given that Enbridge Line 5 occupies publicly owned waters and bottomlands and the threat of a catastrophic oil pipeline rupture to the Great Lakes are of tremendous controversy and have generated an extraordinary level of public engagement. Read the entire letter here.

Other resources:
Under-the-Straits tour of Pipeline 5 (3 min. video)
Area businesses expressing concern about Pipeline 5 (3 min video)

ADVOCATING WITH THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS:  WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1. Join the LWV
    a. Connect with people who share your democratic values
    b. Share in decision making and work
    c. Know you are a part of bigger coalitions

2. Learn About Issues
    a. Improve your general knowledge of issues – learn from others
    b. Focus on issues important to you – Share your knowledge
    c. View issues from a broader perspective – respect people’s right to different viewpoints

3. Strengthen our Voice & Establish Relationships
    a. Engage
    b. Mentor
    c. Demonstrate
    d. Advocate

4. Be Realistic – build bridges, not walls
    a. Compromise
    b. Non-partisan solutions

5. Stay Positive
    a. Hard work needs positivity – remember to have some fun
    b. Avoid burnout - take time for yourself & your loved ones

THE LEAGUE ADVOCATES FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT
The advocacy arm of the League of Women Voters of Michigan is hard at work. We monitor legislation as it is introduced and makes its way through the legislature. We also review proposed regulations which may impact environmental or public policies. Using state or national League positions, the Michigan League takes action when possible. Letters to the governor, legislators and other decision makers are routinely sent by President Judy Karandjeff, and when allowed, the League also delivers testimony at public hearings. This year, the League's advocacy has been focused on legislation concerning voting rights, environmental issues and the Flint water crisis. Check out our coverage of recent advocacy by reviewing a list of letters, press releases and testimony here.
THE GOAL: BECOMING A TOP TEN EDUCATION STATE
The Education Trust- Midwest, a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization, has published their 2016 Michigan State of Eduction Report. Titled, "Michigan’s Talent Crisis:The Economic Case for Rebuilding Michigan's Broken Public Education System."  The report deals with steps to reach the goal of becoming a top ten education state. Today, Michigan's K-12 system is among the weakest in the country and getting worse. In a little more than a decade, Michigan has gone from being a fairly average state in elementary reading and math achievement to the bottom 10 states. This is a devestating fall. Read the annual report here.
CURRENT LWVMI NEWSLETTER
Click here to read the July 2018 newsletter.