SEARCH

 
 
    
Social Logos Twitter
 
League of women voters responds to police killing of george floyd

5/29/2020
WASHINGTON – The League of Women Voters of the United States issued the following statement in reference to the murder of George Floyd:

         "The League of Women Voters grieves the murders of George Floyd and the countless other Black lives that have been tragically taken at the hands of rogue law enforcement officers who are rarely held fully accountable for their actions." Read entire statement here. 

VOTE411 IS NOW LIVE for august 4 primary election

The VOTE411 website, which the national League of Women Voters launched in 2006, serves as a one-stop-shop" for nonpartisan election related information and responses to relevant questions for federal and state races and ballot proposals. Candidate information for some local races and proposals is also included. VOTE411.org also assists voters in finding their polling places, hours and learning about candidate forums. Additional resources for how to navigate elections during the COVID-19 pandemic are also included. 
VOTER PURGE LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY OF DETROIT WITHDRAWN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.

LEAGUE JOINS EFFORT TO ENFORCE VOTER-APPROVED VOTING RIGHTS AMENDMENT
LWVMI has joined a lawsuit demanding that laws put in place by the 2018 passage of Proposal 3 be enforced, including counting votes made by absentee ballot if the ballot is postmarked on or before Election Day, requiring clerks to immediately process absentee ballot requests and having local clerks pay for postage for returning absentee ballots. Read the statement from LWVMI President, Christina Schlitt in Bridge Magazine.
february 14  - day of action!

 

On February 14, 2020, the League of Women Voters of the United States turned 100 years old! For this milestone anniversary, Leagues all across Michigan celebrated our history, our future and the power of our members by participating in an official "Day of Action". The Day of Action provided a framework to capture the events happening across the country to tell a single story of the League's impact. Pictured on the right is the LWVMI Board of Directors including some who participated in the most recent meeting by video conference call.  February 14 was named "League of Women Voters Day" by Governor Gretchen Whitmer who issued the attached proclamation.

 

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 details.
  • All registered voters can access to an absentee ballot for any reason.  To apply for an absentee ballot, click here to access the application.
  • 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.

COURTs SUPPORT MICHIGAN CITIZENS' RIGHT TO initiate legislation

The League of Women Voters of Michigan was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the State of Michigan concerning PA 608, which imposed a myriad of new restrictions on ballot initiatives. The League supports and encourages the grassroots efforts to initiate legislation, to amend the constitution or to recall our elected officials through the ballot initiative process. We are very pleased with the Court of Claims judge’s decision on September 27, 2019 which supported the claims that a 15% limit on the percentage of initiative signatures that come under any U.S. House district is unconstitutional. Also cited as unconstitutional is the requirement that petition circulators fill out a check box on the petition indicating whether they are paid or volunteer staff. On January 27, 2020, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court's decision to strike down the changes to Michigan's ballot drive law, declaring the changes unconstitutional. The court's ruling removes unreasonable barriers to circulating petitions in Michigan and vindicates the constitutional right to petition.  Read information about the court's decision here.

Michigan's Senate and House of Representatives are appealing this decision to Michigan's Supreme Court. Oral arguments were scheduled for March 11, 2020.

lwvmi joins "adopt and amend" lawsuit
June 19, 2019. Today, the ACLU of Michigan filed an amicus brief joined by the League of Women Voters of Michigan and the American Association of University Women in support of the brief filed in the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of Michigan One Fair Wage and Michigan Time to Care, the proponents of last year's successful petition drives to raise the minimum wage and provide paid sick time for all Michigan workers. The brief urges the Court to reject the legislature’s attempt to undermine the will of the voters by removing citizen-led proposals from the ballot through an anti-democratic maneuver known as “adopt and amend.” Voters Not Politicians also filed an Amicus Curiae brief, urging the Michigan Supreme Court to rule the Michigan Legislature’s “adopt and amend” practice of passing and then gutting citizen-initiated legislation in the same session unconstitutional.

In 2018, citizens collected enough signatures to place initiatives on the ballot that would raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour for all Michigan workers and guarantee one hour of sick time for 30 hours worked. But instead of allowing citizens to vote on these important measures at the November 2018 election, the Michigan legislature adopted them into law in order to keep them off the ballot—and then proceeded to gut them as soon as the election was over. This cynical move is unconstitutional and had never been done before. The Michigan Constitution gives citizens the right to propose laws that must either be adopted by the legislature or voted on by the electorate the ACLU’s brief explains. “It therefore violates the Constitution for the Legislature to do what it did here: ‘adopt’ the people’s proposal—with no intention of allowing it to become law—and then snuff out that proposal during the same legislative session.” This case was argued in the Michigan Supreme Court in July 2019 and a decision is pending. 

UPDATE: On December 18, 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court announced that it will not decide whether the Legislature’s maneuver to “adopt and amend” the state’s minimum wage and paid sick leave laws during last year’s lame-duck session was constitutional. “We are not persuaded that granting the requests would be an appropriate exercise of the Court’s discretion,” the order read. The court will only rule if there is “actual controversy” through a lawsuit challenging the laws.

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)

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

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.