Remember in November, and on August 2

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PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter 273

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Helping Voters Voter:

The Voter Assistance Hotline (1-833-MIVOTES or 1-833-648-6837)

“The Hotline is the hub of the Michigan Democratic Party’s voter protection team,” says Melissa Pendolino, MDP Voter Protection Recruitment & Hotline ManagerShe explains that the Hotline provides guidance to voters regarding all phases of the voting process, including registering, absentee ballots, and information on polling locations. It connects voters throughout the State of Michigan to the many available resources.

The MDP started the Hotline in March, 2020 when the pandemic began. Since then, they’ve developed and tweaked the system. Its ultimate goal is to empower voters to better understand the system and strengthen their own voice.

For those interested in volunteering to staff the Hotline, Pendolino emphasizes how fulfilling it can be to help voters vote. Tears come to her eyes at the memory of voters thanking her for helping them vote for the first Black woman for Vice-President. In contrast to other kinds of volunteerism which involves actively canvassing possible voters, Hotline volunteers volunteer for shifts, working remotely in the safety of their own homes, answering questions from those who called in to ask for help.

If you know someone who is having trouble negotiating the voting system for the August 2 Primary election, tell them to call the MDP Hotline, currently operating 9 am-6 pm M-F, with weekend and evening hours being added as of July 16. The Hotline will break for a while in August, then rev up again for the crucial November General Election.

The Hotline offers remote training for all new volunteers. Volunteers are always in communication with a Hotline manager who can offer expert advice on complicated situations. If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering for the Democratic Hotline, also call 1-833-MIVOTES.

Voters Beware:

Candidate Ranzini has a mixed and unexplained past

Ann Arbor banker Stephen Lange Ranzini is running in the Democratic primary against Crystal Lyte for Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners District 2, which includes parts of northern Ann Arbor and townships north and east of it.

Voters should be aware that Ranzini comes to this primary with a mixed political bag. Since 2000 Ranzini has given almost $17,000 to GOP candidates and party causes. His donations to Republicans include to George W. Bush’s presidential campaign and a 2010 donation to Rich Snyder’s gubernatorial campaign. He also gave $1000 to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in late 2016.

This said, Ranzini has also given about $28,000 to Democratic causes. He was a delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention where he voted for Hillary Clinton and donated $2,7000 to her campaign, according to FEC records.

Who is this Democratic candidate for Washington County Board of Commissioners? Though Ranzini asserts he’s campaigned for Democrats Jeff Irwin and Debbie Dingell, he’s refused to answer questions from M-Live regarding his past donations to the Republican party. Voters deserve the answers to these questions

Did you make an “oopsie” on your absentee ballot?

If you made a mistake OR if you have had a change of heart about a candidate after you mailed in your ballot, it is not too late! You have the option to “spoil” your ballot and cast a new one. Spoiling a ballot is the same as canceling the old one. If the canceled ballot reaches you or the clerk after you’ve spoiled it, it won’t count. The latest you can spoil a ballot is 4 pm the day before the election. If you spoil your ballot at the last minute, ask your clerk what your options are to cast your vote. 

Spoil the Ballot


Thursday, July 14. Democratic Candidate Forum: County Commissioner District 5 (Ypsilanti & Augusta Townships)

  • Justin Hodge is the current District 5 commissioner and a professor of social work at the University of Michigan.
  • Ronnie Peterson, a former county commissioner, is the state representative for the 54th house district; he has been invited to this event but has not confirmed attendance.
  • Latitia Sharp is executive assistant to the county commissioner, currently on temporary assignment in the office of the Public Defender.

Register here: Zoom Webinar 5–6 pm

Wednesday, July 20. Democratic Candidate Forum: County Commissioner District 2 and 14A District Court

County Commissioner candidates in District 2:

  • Crystal Lyte, Vice Chair, WCDP Voice Committee; Chair, Eastern Washtenaw Democratic Club; Community Activist.
  • Stephen Ranzini, President and CEO, University Bank, who has been invited but has not yet confirmed.

14A District Court Candidates:

  • Fawn Armstrong, assistant prosecuting attorney with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office and U.S. Army veteran.
  • Karl Barr, assistant city attorney for Ypsilanti and private attorney for more than 22 years.
  • Stuart Collis, Washtenaw County attorney with more than 25 years of litigating cases.
  • Torchio Feaster, long-time defense attorney and public defender with years of experience representing members of the Washtenaw County community.

Register here: Zoom Webinar. 7–8:45 pm

Your elected representatives

Find your county commissioner here.

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:, Phone: (517) 373-2577. Currently virtual coffee hours with Yousef are at 10 am on the 4th Saturday of the month. Register for Saturday coffee hours

State Rep. Ronnie Peterson, 54th House district: Phone: (517) 373-1771 | Toll-Free: (855) 347-8054,

State Rep. Donna Lasinski, 52nd House district:, Phone: (517) 373-0828 | Toll-Free: (855) 627-5052, (sign up for emails here). 

State Rep. Felicia Brabec, 55th House district:, Phone: (517) 373-1792,

Visit the PEG website for the full list and details of Upcoming Events

More things to do, read, watch, and listen

With everything else going on, Biden’s accomplishments on the economy have escaped many

  • Biden has grown the economy to rebuild the middle class, shifting years of economic policy since Reagan.

“While he [Biden] appears to be driven by his belief in the dignity of all Americans and their right to be able to make ends meet with a decent job…” 

  • Employment continues to rise. Unemployment is at 3.6%
  • Under Biden, we have 759,000 more jobs in transportation and warehousing than right before the pandemic. Moreover, manufacturing is back to where it was in February 2020. 

“Since the beginning of his term, Biden has tried to take on the concentration of wealth and power among a few elites. Biden’s investment in the U.S. economy through the American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill has produced significant results.”

  • Since Biden has been in office, wages are up 5.1%, and workers have more bargaining power than before the pandemic. 

“This data suggests that people are moving away from work in restaurants, leisure, and nursing—all professions hit terribly hard during the pandemic—and toward transportation and office work. The increase in wages reflects more bargaining power on the part of employees.”

  • And yes, there is inflation, however.

“The price of gasoline has been coming down from its crazy high for the past 25 days. In the past two weeks, the average price of gas has dropped 19 cents a gallon, and as the price of crude oil continues to fall, consumers can expect to see prices continue to fall as well…”

And – “One of the reasons for inflation has been the concentration of corporate power since the 1980s. A June report by three economists for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston noted that “[t]he US economy is at least 50 percent more concentrated today than it was in 2005,” and that such concentration amplifies the degree to which companies pass price hikes onto consumers as businesses overcompensate for rising production costs.” Read more from Heather Cox Richardson.

A weekly, non-partisan web-series about Michigan Elections from the Michigan Department of State

You can view a replay of today’s Vote Smart session, Absentee Voting Crash Course, below! Join us at next week’s session for a Polling Place Crash Course (sign-up at this link). Additional absentee voting resources are listed below.

Session ReplayAbsentee Voting Crash Course

Click HERE to see the video.

Absentee Voting Resources

More materials are available at

Additional information about absentee voting available at

Sign up to attend upcoming Vote Smart sessions at this link.

Session Replay: Voter Registration Crash Course

Click HERE to see the video.

Voter Registration Resources

July Vote Smart Sessions

  • A Voter Registration Crash Course (see recording)
  • Absentee Voting Crash Course (see recording)
  • Voting at Your Polling Place
  • What Happens After Polls Close on August 2?

Weekly sessions will be held through November and feature department staff and experts discussing a range of non-partisan election topics including helpful voter how-tos, a deep-dive into how Michigan elections are run, and tips for how voters and partners can help prepare their communities for election season. Seats to the live sessions are limited. Select the links below to sign-up to attend, or to submit a question for our hosts to answer live on the call. A replay recording will be available after the call.

Questions? Contact

Source: Michigan Department of State

Voting Tips from Washtenaw County Democratic Party

Now: In-person absentee voting at your city or township clerk’s office.  Just walk in and be a voter!

July 18: Last day to register to vote online or by mail (after July 18, you’ll need to register in person with proof of residency)

July 19: Last day to drop your ballot in the mail (after July 19, drop your ballot off at your city or township clerk’s office or in a secure dropbox provided by your clerk)

August 1: If you’re registered to vote where you live, you can vote absentee in person at your city or township clerk’s office until 4 p.m. on August 1 (after that, you must vote at your polling location on Election Day)

August 2: Election Day! The polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. local time; if you need to register, you can register (with proof of residency) and then vote at your city or township clerk’s office until 8 p.m.

Got it covered already?  Consider volunteering for voter protection at the polls this fall.

ll registered voters are eligible to vote by mail


To use the Online Absent Voter Ballot application tool below, you need to be registered to vote in Michigan and have a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID. If you need to register to vote, click on “Registering To Vote.” If you don’t have a Michigan driver’s license or state ID but you are registered to vote, go to “Absentee Voting” for more information on how you can apply for an absent voter ballot. If you have a Michigan Driver’s License or State ID you can submit an online application at Michigan.Gov/Vote. Residents can apply in person at the City Clerk’s office on the second floor of City Hall, 301 E. Huron St. Also, the State of Michigan’s “Voter Information Center” has links to check voter registration, check for polling place, apply for an absentee ballot, and more:


If you are NOT ON THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTERS LIST, you must initiate a request for an absentee ballot. This year the Secretary of State will NOT send out an absentee ballot application to every registered Michigan voter. This is different from the 2020 election which was an exception due to Covid!

Goal Achieved!! Ballot petitions turn in record number of signatures

Signatures for Ballot Petitions Promote the Vote 2022 and Reproductive Freedom for All

were due July 11 and both petitions submitted a record number of signatures to the secretary of state. Both petitions strive to amend the Michigan Constitution. Constitutional amendments require 425,059 signatures to be placed on the November 2 ballot.

Promote the Vote 2022

The coalition of voting-rights groups seeks to amend the state constitution to provide aims to codify existing laws around election verification and offer at least nine days of early voting.

Read the article to familiarize yourself with the specifics of petition. The group submitted 669,972 signatures for review.

Reproductive Freedom for All 

The measure would amend the state Constitution to make reproductive freedom a right, repealing a decades-old law that makes abortion a felony. The group has submitted 753,759 signatures, the most in state history.

Next Steps

The Bureau of Elections will review random samples of those signatures and the Board of Canvassers will decide if the group has enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Legal challenges from Republican attorneys are possible. If the signatures survive scrutiny and the ballots are approved by a majority of voters in November, the measure would take effect 45 days after Election Day.

A July 8, 2022 article in Bridge Magazine reports that seven nonprofits violated Michigan’s campaign finance law by bankrolling ballot proposals while keeping their donors’ identities secret. The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a Washington, DC business, filed complaints with the Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office this past week against 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations funding progressive initiatives in Michigan over the past three years. Ballot measures in question include Reproductive Freedom for All, and Michiganders for Fair Lending.

NEW!! PEG’s Videos of the Week

Check out this new recurring section each week to see our favorite trending videos online. We encourage you to click and share the links to these fun and informative short form videos on your favorite social media platforms!

Be a VoterTraffic JamClinic EscortsBans offThe Bern

The Washtenaw County Clerk’s webpage enumerates in detail the elections, proposals and candidates to date. A few of the important remaining dates are listed below.

What are the remaining election dates in 2022?

  • July 29, 2022 – deadline for requesting absentee ballot
  • August 2, 2022 – deadline for returning a voted ballot by mail

To vote absentee, a request must be received no later than 5 pm the Friday before the election. The ballot must then be returned by 8 pm on Election Day.

  • August 2 – State Primary as well as proposals that are not yet “official” – including the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority proposal
  • November 8 – State General Election 

What are the voter registration deadlines?

Visit MichiganGov/Vote to register

  • July 18: Last day to register in any manner other than in-person with the local clerk for the August primary. (168.497)
  • July 19: through 8 pm on August 2 In-person registration with local clerk with proof of residency. (168.497)
  • October 24: Last day to register in any manner other than in-person with the local clerk for the November general election. (168.497)
  • October 25 through 8 pm on November 8: In-person registration with local clerk with proof of residency. (168.497)

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