New tools to improve accuracy of Michigan Voter Registration List
The Michigan Bureau of Elections is continuing to carry out extensive efforts to maintain accurate voter registration lists. Voters are encouraged to check their registration status and can update their own registrations online (Michigan.gov/Vote) or with their local clerks. The bureau also sends mailers to the addresses on registrations of voters who may have moved, and voters can now quickly and easily also respond online to those mailers to verify, cancel or update their registration. When no response is received, in accordance with federal law the registration remains inactive for at least two statewide election cycles before it can be cancelled.
In 2019, Michigan joined the Electronic Registration Information Center, a national consortium that compares the registration lists of dozens of member states to identify when voters die or move out of state, allowing member states to update or cancel their registrations accordingly.
“The statewide mailings, interstate data sharing, daily reconciliation with the driver file, and other activities we’re conducting constitute the most thorough and precise list maintenance initiative in Michigan history,” said Benson. – Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson & WILX
This week $8M in grants will be available for added Election Security
The Michigan Bureau of Elections is making available $8 million in federal grant funding in response to a letter sent by the associations of municipal and county clerks.
The federal dollars will pay for improvements to the physical security of election locations, purchase and upgrade technology and networks used to support election administration and procure services and personnel to help make elections secure.The funds were appropriated to states by Congress under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
The clerks have several proposals, including a functional structure for early voting, funding for staff and infrastructure (e.g., dropbox security and postage costs), pre-processing of absentee ballots, training and reasonable access for election challengers, additional time for clerks to audit and certify our statewide primary election by moving the primary from August to June, allow clerks to better clean Michigan’s voter rolls.
M-Live notes that bipartisanship has “been absent,” with Republicans attempting their own overhaul of election laws, and also supporting a ballot initiative (Secure MI Vote) to circumvent the Governor’s veto. – Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson & MLive
Stay in touch with your Michigan Reps
State Senator Jeff Irwin has a regular Virtual Coffee Hour — To receive the Zoom access code and the next date, please fill out this form:
State Rep. Yousef Rabhi, 53rd House district: email@example.com, Phone: (517) 373-2577. https://housedems.com/yousef-rabhi/. Currently virtual coffee hours with Yousef are at 10 am on the 4th Saturday of the month.
Michigan Petitions – Petition Recap
Many petitions are being circulated for signatures. If the petitions qualify this would mean that more than a dozen proposals could be on the November 2022 ballot. Topics range from voting, education, abortion rights and criminal justice reform to minimum wage and payday lending.
Khalilah Spencer, the board president of the Promote the Vote, told reporters this past week that the goal of the ballot initiative is “to continue building a voting system that works for everyone in Michigan” by allowing nine days of early, in-person voting, along with other measures.
Promote the Vote 2022 would:
- Continue to allow people to sign an affidavit attesting to their identity to vote, rather than show official ID. Secure MI Vote would require IDs.
- Require the Michigan Legislature to fund for postage for absentee ballots as well as a tracking system to allow voters to know the location of their absentee ballot and whether there are any issues.
- Allow local governments to accept funding from public and charitable sources. That would be banned under Secure MI Vote.
- Require ballot drop boxes for every 15,000 voters in a municipality.
- Establish that post-election audits can only be conducted by state and county election officials. The amendment would bar officials from any political party from participating in the audit. A separate ballot measure Audit MI would appoint a political board to perform audits.
- Allow voters to register for absentee voting for all future elections, without having to reapply. Secure MI Vote would require voters to reapply for absentee ballots every election.
The Board of Canvassers has approved the revised format and summary of the petition.
Action: Go to Voters Not Politicians to sign up to volunteer to collect signatures.
Refer to previous Newsletter issues for specifics on which petitions you should avoid signing.
The Michigan petition drive tracker can be found here. The tracker was updated on 3/16/22.
Special Election Training for Early Vote Observing and Ballot Curing
Ensure that absentee ballots are counted for voters in Michigan whose special election ballots contain errors. Ballot Curing for the Special Election ballots will begin on Wednesday, March 30.
Sign-up for Special Election voter protection training HERE. Times available:
- Wednesday, Mar 30, 6–8 pm EDT
- Sunday, Apr 10, 11:30am–1:30 pm EDT
- Saturday, Apr 16, 1–3 pm EDT
At this training you will learn:
- What errors require curing.
- How to guide a voter to submit the necessary information to their clerk.
- How to record that information.
Early Vote Observers will only be needed for the following jurisdictions:
Wayne County: Dearborn
Macomb County: Shelby Township, Bruce Township and Washington Township
Oakland County: Waterford Township, Lake Angelus, Clarkston, and Independence Township
Kent County: Cities of Walker, Grandville, Rockford, and Cedar Springs, plus Algoma, Alpine, Solon, Sparta, and Tyrone Townships
Add the volunteer calendar to yours by clicking here.
Voter Protection Volunteer Recruiting
Save the Dates to Help Balance the Michigan House protecting Michigan Voting Rights. Apr 3, Apr 7, Apr 10, April 21. Calling all phone bankers to GOTV for the May 3 special election to fill four vacant seats in Michigan House Districts. District 15, District 36, District 43, and District 74. Register and get more information
Visit the PEG website to view the comprehensive listing of Upcoming Events!
Restore Fair Payments to Victims of Catastrophic Car Accidents
Victims of car accidents who’ve suffered permanent trauma are in crisis due to the insurance industry’s successful campaign to cap payments to them. Due to their lobbying, the Republican-led legislature passed the 2019 Auto Insurance Reform law which cuts by 45% the amount insurance companies pay for long-term care, leaving victims and their families in dire straits. Implementation of this law has caused families to go bankrupt; some long-term care facilities have shut down; some survivors have died.
To reverse this bill and give victims the payments they deserve through prior insurance payments, please contact the following members of the Michigan House of Representatives Insurance Committee and urge them to vote yes on HB 5931 that would restore financial support that trauma victims of accidents deserve and need.
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