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VOTE411 IS NOW LIVE!
If you live in a city in Michigan, it is likely that you have an election on November 2, 2021.  Click here to access VOTE411, a non-partisan voter guide that includes election information and un-edited responses from candidates to questions posed by the League.  Be an informed voter!
MICHIGAN INDEPENDENT citizens REDISTRICTING COMMISSION 

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. Since its first meeting in September, 2021, the League has been observing and reporting on all of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) meetings.  For more information about the MICRC, click here.  Recordings of meetings and public hearings can be found here.  As part of the People Powered Fair Maps Program of the League of Women Voters, local Leagues across Michigan held 28 virtual town hall events this past spring to educate Michigan voters on the MICRC's process of drawing new legislative and congressional maps.  Click here to see the town hall events that are completed and access some of the recordings that are available. 

LWVMI has a team of trained League members who are observing and reporting on all the MICRC meetings. The League is working to help identify Communities of Interest. Click here to read the comments LWVMI has submitted as well as other public activity LWVMI has participated in concerning redistricting.

After the 2020 Census, Michigan will now have 13 congressional districts, 38 state senate districts and 110 state house districts.  The MICRC is now encouraging the public to submit maps.  A press conference was held on August 31, 2021 highlighting the mapping tools available to the public and welcoming citizen participation.  YOU are encouraged to submit a map-- start by using Districtr.org, a  free, open-source software program designed just for public input in the redistricting process.  To learn about drawing a map, visit Michigan-mapping.org for brief tutorial videos.

LEAGUE HOLDS EDUCATIONAL WEBINARS ABOUT PROPOSED MAPS

Six virtual webinars covering different regions of Michigan are scheduled to inform residents about the proposed maps in their counties. The webinars are free and open to the public.  Click on the links below to register:

Mon, Oct. 18, 5:00pm:  Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair Counties

Mon, Oct. 18, 6:00pm:  Wayne County

Tues, Oct. 19, 7:00pm:  Washtenaw, Jackson, Hillsdale, Monroe, Lenawee and Livingston Counties

Wed, Oct. 20, 5:00pm:  Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newago, Allegan and Barry Counties

Wed, Oct. 20, 7:00pm:  Genesee, Midland, Tuscola, Huron, Sanilac, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Lapeer, Bay and Gladwin Counties

Thurs, Oct. 21, 7:00:  Gladwin, Isabella, Mecosta, Newago, Oceana, Counties north of Bay, all of Upper Peninsula

ROUND TWO OF PUBLIC HEARINGS 

Hours:  Doors open at 12:30pm.  Sign up for in-person public comments, or enter comments and maps in the Public Comment Portal using on-site computers.  First hearing runs from 1:30-3:30.  At 4:30, the doors open for the second half, which runs from 5:00-8:00.  The hearing will end after wll who have signed up by 7:30 have been heard.

October 18, Grand Rapids:  Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

October 20, Detroit:  TCF Center

October 21, Lansing:  Lansing Center

October 25, Gaylord:  Treetop Resort

October 26, Flint:  Dort Center

 

LEAGUE DENOUNCES BALLOT PROPOSAL AND BILLS THAT ROLL BACK VOTING RIGHTS

On September 2, 2021, a statewide ballot proposal was introduced that will put up barriers to voting and remove options for registered voters in Michigan.  Requiring voters to show their IDs when voting in person or absentee will lead to voter disenfranchisement across our state when we already know that our elections are fair and secure. The League OPPOSES this ballot proposal.  Read the League's press release here.   

The ballot proposal follows the introduction of 39 bills that were introduced in the Michigan State Senate on March 24, 2021, most of which are measures that restrict voter rights and suppress eligible citizens from voting. Christina Schlitt, President of the League issued a statement, saying that, "The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and something that state lawmakers should be working to protect instead of attack. The bills that have been announced today are antithetical to fair elections and violate the clear will of Michigan voters who participated in record numbers in 2020."

Click here to see an explanation of the 39 bills plus a chart that details what each bill wants to accomplish, and the League's position on each. Click here to watch a June 28, 2021 conference concerning the Anti-Voter Legislation in Michigan, featuring Voting Rights Attorney Sharon Dolente and LWVUS CEO Virginia Kase-Solomon. 

ELECTION PROTECTION HOTLINE: 855-IVOTEMI
If you or anyone you know encouters problems while voting, call for help:  855-IVOTEMI (855-486-8364)
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.  Christina Schlitt, president of the League said, “The League of Women Voters of Michigan is calling on the Court of Claims to protect petitioning, our most direct exercise of democracy. 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.”   On July 13, 2021, the court ruled that the 2018 law's 15% cap on initiative petition signatures coming for a single US congressional district as well as the requirement that paid circulators check a box on the front of the petition are both unconstitutional, but the court did not support the League's contention that requiring circulators to file an affidavit and deleting names of petition signatures if the circulator made a mistake were unconstitutional.  LWVMI filed an appeal concerning these issues with the Court of Appeals, and on September 10, 2021, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered the Court of Appeals to expedite the appeal and issue a decision by November 1, 2021. 
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.
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 Voting Rights booklet produced by a coalition of non-partisan voting groups (including 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.