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INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION IS NOW ACTIVE

Every 10 years after the census is completed, new political lines are drawn for federal, state, county and some local districts. The League of Women Voters of Michigan was instrumental in passing a constitutional amendment in 2018 that requires redistricting to be completed by an independent commission instead of the political party in power. Over 9,000 applications to be part of the Commission were received and the final 13 members were chosen at random. The Independent Redistricting Commission (ICRC) had its first meeting on September 17. Anyone is invited to listen in on the meetings, which are live-streamed. For the schedule, agenda and more information about the ICRC, click here.

LWVMI has a team of trained League members who are observing and reporting on all the ICRC meetings. The League will be working to help identify Communities of Interest.  Read the public comment here. 

LWVMI 2021 CONVENTION
The 2021 LWVMI biennial convention will be held virtually on May 21-22, 2021. Members can click here to see frequently updated details about the convention, including registration instructions.
PUBLIC ACT 608 IMPEDES DIRECT EXERCISE OF DEMOCRACY
February 8, 2021: The League of Women Voters of Michigan along with other election reform advocates filed a complaint in the Michigan Court of Claims regarding 2018 Public Act 608, which says no more than 15 percent of the signatures on a ballot petition can be counted from a single congressional district and imposed other onerous requirements on petition drives.“The League of Women Voters of Michigan is calling on the Court of Claims to protect petitioning, our most direct exercise of democracy,” said Christina Schlitt, president of the League. “The court should declare PA 608 unconstitutional because it imposes extreme obstacles on the will of the people being carried out. We must ensure the voices of our voters are heard and that ‘all political power is inherent in the people’ as stated in Michigan’s Constitution.”  The League originally filed a lawsuit in May 2019 arguing the law that made it harder to initiate ballot drives by limiting the number of signatures. That lawsuit was dismissed for procedural reasons late last year. The Feb. 8th complaint can be accessed here.
2020 ELECTION FACT SHEET
LWVMI has prepared an "Election Fact Sheet" which includes information on the new voting rights that impacted the 2020 election, voter registrations, in-person vs. absentee voter data, election lawsuits and more. Click here to access the document.

VOTE411 non-partisan voter guide helped michigan voters

The VOTE411 website, which the national League of Women Voters launched in 2006, served as a "one-stop-shop" for nonpartisan election related information and responses to relevant questions for federal and state races and ballot proposals. Michigan's VOTE411 assisted over 613,000 Michigan voters in the 2020 elections, who viewed information more than 800,000 times- a 61% increase in usage from 2018. That includes a 200% usage bump in September, reflective ot the many people voting absentee in this year's election. Additionally, over 100,000 copies of the print voter guide were made available to libraries and other facilities around Michigan.

VOTER PURGE LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY OF DETROIT WITHDRAWN
Known for bringing multiple, voter-purge lawsuits against cities and counties across the country, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) asked a judge to dismiss its lawsuit against the City of Detroit on June 30, 2020. “This is a victory for the voters of Michigan,” said Christina Schlitt, president of the League of Women Voters of Michigan, which joined the case on the city’s side in May. “The League of Women Voters has worked hard to register and educate eligible voters in the state, and PILF was trying to undo that work. The League stepped in to push back against PILF’s bullying tactics, and we won.” “From the start, we’ve said this lawsuit is without merit,” said Eliza Sweren-Becker, counsel in the Brennan Center’s Voting Rights and Elections Program. “When pressed for evidence to support their allegations, PILF withdrew its case rather than try to prove it. It’s shameful that PILF made the City of Detroit spend time and money to defend against a case that should never have been brought in the first place.”    Read the case background HERE.

Read the complete LWV statement HERE.

New voting rights for michigan citizens

The League of Women Voters supported Proposal 3, "Promote the Vote", which was passed by Michigan voters in the November, 2018 election. This new constitutional amendment ensures that every eligible person can vote and that every vote will be counted. It 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. Michigan citizens are now guaranteed these new voting rights:

  • A citizen can register to vote anytime with proof of residency. Click here for detailsClick here to watch a short video about registering to vote. 
  • All registered voters can access to an absentee ballot for any reason.  To learn more about absentee ballot voting in Michigan, click here.
  • The right to vote a secret ballot is protected.
  • Military service members and overseas voters will get their ballots in time for their votes to count.
  • Voters have the option to vote straight party.
  • Citizens will be automatically registered to vote at the Secretary of State’s office unless the citizen declines.
  • The accuracy and integrity of elections are ensured by audits of election results


For detailed information about voter registration, click here.  Another great source of voting information for Michigan voters is a Know Your Rights booklet produced by the ACLU and co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION
The League of Women Voters of Michigan (LWVMI), in both its values and practices, affirms its belief and commitment to diversity and pluralism. LWVMI recognizes that diverse perspectives are important and necessary for responsible and representative decision making, and subscribes to the belief that diversity and pluralism are fundamental to the values it upholds.

Inclusiveness enhances the organization’s ability to respond more effectively to changing conditions and needs, and therefore, LWVMI will in both principles and practices promote the inclusion in participation in any activity of LWVMI all persons whatever their gender, race, socio-economic status, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin or disability. Read more about the League's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by clicking here.

Michigan environmental council's roadmap 2019-2022
A new Michigan legislature was sworn in on January 1, 2019. A whole slew of public health and environmental issues are threatening Michigan and its residents that legislators need to address. Decision-makers in the Capitol need to deal with these issues thoroughly and swiftly, but they do not have to do it alone. Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan League of Conservation Voters, in conjunction with our many member and partner organizations, including League of Women Voters of Michigan, have put together an Environmental Roadmap for lawmakers and the new administration, a multi-year plan for addressing Michigan’s top environmental and public health challenges. Click her to see the 2019-2022 Environmental Roadmap.
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)

COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan for LWVMI Office

Click here to read LWVMI's office plan to comply with the CDC and the Ingham County Health Department's guidelines for operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.