WCDP News: Keeping Washtenaw Elections Safe

9 mins read

If Republicans send an “army” to  disrupt election, “it will be dealt with”

– Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum

A June 1 Politico article detailed video recordings of Republican Party operatives and grassroots activists strategizing a plan to target and attempt to overturn votes in Democratic precincts by installing “an army” of poll workers here in Michigan. WCDP spoke with Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum to get his take on the GOP’s plan, and he had an interesting perspective. 

“I welcome having Republicans come in to work the elections,” said Kestenbaum. “That’s the essence of having a fair process. And these workers typically walk away with far more respect for the election process.” 

In 2020, Washtenaw hired 1,500 poll workers. The county clerk’s office manages the training for much of Washtenaw. That year, the county saw a tremendous increase in absentee voting. “Processing absentee ballots is a lot more labor intensive,” said Kestenbaum, “and building a corps of election workers with excellent experience is a high priority for my office.”

Kestenbaum said if people are truly being encouraged to sabotage the process, it will be dealt with. “But I don’t expect that to happen,” he said.  “In my experience, they take an oath and are almost uniformly serious about what they do. The local clerks are very knowledgeable about how things are supposed to work. Every sensitive task must be handled by two people of different parties. The notion that anyone could subtly do something, or object to voters, that’s a challenger’s job.”

Regarding the election in 2020, the Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers wrote a letter commending all the electors and clerks for the excellent job they did. Kestenbaum is expecting the same this year and credits our county’s many long-time election workers and volunteers.

Raising funds for WCDP Voter Guide

WCDP is again publishing its popular Voter Guide, providing information on candidates and proposals that Democrats support. This is especially important for down ballot races, like the state Supreme Court and other judicial races, where candidate information may not be as broadly distributed.

Jennifer Fairfield of the Western Washtenaw Dems and Adam Zemke, who formerly represented Ann Arbor in the State House, spearheaded the creation of Voter Guides in 2016. In the 2020 cycle, the WCDP printed over 60,000 Voter Guides, which were walked to doors, mailed to less walkable areas, and distributed at events. We also distributed the information digitally via the WCDP website and PDF versions. One initiative this year is to pilot a digital version that personalizes candidate information based on your address!

How many Voter Guides get produced is dependent on our fundraising effort. We believe printing costs this year will be higher. The change in absent voting laws has put more time pressure on the production side – we have to finalize the candidate information for the Guide and have endorsements completed by September 1st, to get them printed and distributed before absentee voting opens September 24th.

To donate to this valuable voter resource, please click on the Act Blue link. Every dollar helps!  

Hold corporations accountable for their BLM commitments

Over the last year, DTE, Blue Cross Blue Shield and other corporations gave thousands to conservative politicians in Lansing who pushed voter suppression bills in the legislature. These corporations support the politicians trying to silence the Black voice and Black vote. We need to fight back.

Join Defend Black Votes and Michigan United on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm for a meeting to discuss how the corporations in 2020 that gave lip service to Black Lives Matter are now funding the politicians trying to suppress the Black Vote. Learn what we are doing and how you can get involved. Register here.

 Source: Michigan United


Freedom to vote.  Freedom to choose our own representatives.  Freedom to decide if and when to have kids.

From Monroe to Menominee, all Michiganders believe in freedom. The 2022 election is all about defending those freedoms.  And that’s a story we can tell that is both true and builds on our shared values

Come learn how to inpspire people to vote, how to put the right on their heels, and how to how to break through the noise in 2022.  Come learn how to win.

Sign the rhyme –
Promote the Vote!

We passed Promote the Vote with a huge majority in 2018. The new Promote the Vote 2022 goes farther – it guarantees, in the constitution:

  • Prohibits harassment of voters 
  • Allows for nine days of in-person early voting
  • Ensures that election audits can only be conducted by election officials 
  • Protects for local election funding and military ballots 

Here’s how you can help get these signatures. 

Weekends at local Farmers Markets thru June

New locations where you can sign the Reproductive Freedom For All petition

he RFFA initiative needs 425,059 valid signatures by July 11 to be put on the November ballot. Please find it and sign it. If you can please help collect signatures.  See all Michigan locations HERE Ann Arbor Farmers MarketClick HERE for more details.

315 Detroit Street Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Sundays thru June 26, 11am-4pm Ypsilanti Farmers Market Click HERE for more details.

16 S Washington St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 Saturdays thru June 25, 9am-1pmSaline Farmers MarketClick HERE for more details.

100 S Ann Arbor St (Lot #4) Saline, MI 48176 Saturdays thru June 25, 8am-12pm noon

Source: Protectors of Equality in Government Newsletter

Hosted by Chris & Anne Savage in their lovely organic garden, at their Dexter home

Your WCDP is all-volunteer. Every dollar raised is used to keep voters informed and increase voter turnout.  The stakes are high in 2022, but with your support we can #FlipLansingBlue! Join us!

More Information: https://www.washtenawdems.org/featured-events/
Buy Tickets: 2022 WCDP Garden Party
Share Away: Facebook event

Can’t attend?  Sponsor a ticket for a guest who needs one!

Signs & more at the A2 Farmer’s Market!

Whitmer Gilchrist Nessel Benson: $15
Black Lives Matter: $5
Whitmer Gilchrist on white: $10 

Check or cash preferred. You can also pick up signs at the WCDP Ypsilanti office on Wednesdays, 5 to 7Saturdays, 11 to 3; and Sundays, 1 to 3.  Call ahead to check stock: 734-879-0556

Bridge Michigan does the reporting a democracy needs with their MI ballot proposal tracker, explaining goals, major funders, & more.

ActionHub connects you to local groups who share our Democratic values. Take action today!

The Final Word

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

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