League of Women Voters of Michigan – Lawsuit Against MICRC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022
CONTACT: Sydney Smith, (586) 212-3103, firstname.lastname@example.org
League of Women Voters of Michigan, voting rights advocates file lawsuit against MICRC
Group calls for partisan fairness in redistricting process
LANSING – The League of Women Voters of Michigan, along with a coalition of voting rights advocates, filed a lawsuit today against the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission on the grounds of partisan fairness.
The lawsuit was filed today in the Michigan Supreme Court and is specifically meant to ensure the Michigan State House map is fair from a partisan perspective.
“When Michigan voters overwhelmingly passed Proposal 2 in 2018 establishing the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, they spoke loud and clear in their support for partisan fairness,” said Christina Schlitt, co-president of the Michigan League. “Our new maps must be as fair as possible from a partisan perspective because the maps will impact our elections for the next decade.”
The Hickory Map includes a disproportionate partisan advantage for the Republican party, and the suit alleges the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission failed in its mission of ensuring a district map for the Michigan State House is free of partisan advantage. An expert report on the partisan fairness of the Hickory Map showed Republicans are likely to win most seats even if they win the fewest
“Unfair, biased maps run counter to what Michigan voters have asked for throughout the redistricting process,” said Paula Bowman, co-president of the Michigan League. “The approved Hickory Map shows partisan bias and should be replaced with a fairer map.”
The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are American Citizens for Justice, Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote – Michigan, Detroit Action, LGBT Detroit, North Flint Neighborhood Action Council, Rising Voices and several individual registered voters across Michigan.
The League of Women Voters of Michigan was heavily involved in the redistricting process, engaging in educational outreach and helping ensure every Michigan voter had a voice. Last spring, local Leagues hosted over 30 town halls to educate voters about the MICRC, and in the fall the Michigan League hosted eight regional town halls to discuss the proposed maps. The League also offered training to Communities of Interest.
The League of Women Voters of Michigan is the state league for the U.S. League of Women Voters, which is a nonpartisan political organization that aims to encourage informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Learn more at lwvmi.org
News from Promote the Vote 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2022
Contact: Lynna Kaucheck, email@example.com
Pro-Voter Ballot Initiative Launches in Michigan
New ballot initiative will modernize elections and create a voting system that works for everyone
MICHIGAN – Today, Promote the Vote 2022 launched a ballot initiative to improve both security and access to the polls in Michigan. Partners in the campaign gathered for a virtual press conference as part of the campaign launch.
“This initiative is to ensure that our elections are secure and accessible and that voters can vote free from harassment, intimidation and interference,” said Khalilah Spencer, board president of Promote the Vote. “Voter freedom and power are critical to the success of our state and our country. We must create a voting system that provides secure options for voters, equitable access to the polls, and ensures all our voices are heard when it comes time to vote.”
The 2020 election was the most secure and accurate on record, and the voters of Michigan turned out in record numbers. Promote the Vote 2022 picks up where Proposal 3 of 2018 left off by taking the extra steps necessary to create a voting system that works for everyone and making sure that voting is a fundamental right enshrined in our state constitution.
“Promote the Vote 2022 provides common sense voting policies to move Michigan forward,” said Christina Schlitt, co-president of League of Women Voters of Michigan. “Michiganders want secure and accessible elections, we want people to be able to vote without fear of intimidation, and we want to be confident that our votes will be counted. This ballot initiative takes a great step towards modernizing our elections and protecting our freedom to vote.”
The initiative includes public funding and resources to help local election officials do their jobs including funding for postage for absentee ballots and ballot tracking, and secure ballot dropboxes for every 15,000 voters in a municipality. The initiative will also preserve the authority of local governments to accept funding from publicly disclosed, public and charitable sources.
“It’s critical that our city and township clerks have the resources they need to securely and accessibly run our elections,” said Aghogho Edevbie, Michigan state director for All Voting is Local. “Local election officials across Michigan rely on donated spaces for polling locations, and while other ballot initiatives want to take away this essential service, this proposal would empower Michigan voters by securing this and other critical resources for local clerks to effectively do their jobs.”
Promote the Vote 2022 will increase accessibility by creating a true early voting system, with nine days of early, in-person voting where voters will be able to feed their ballot into a tabulator. The initiative will also allow voters to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to them for all future elections, without having to apply each time as long as the voter remains qualified to vote.
“A voting system that works for everyone means that voters have options when it comes time to cast their ballot,” said Shelli Weisberg, political director for ACLU of Michigan. “Creating a true early voting system means busy working parents have more options for how and when to vote and giving our military families the time that they need to return their ballots is critical to ensuring that every voter can cast their vote and that every ballot is counted.”
The initiative would also ensure that the outcome of Michigan elections is determined solely by the votes cast by Michigan voters by directing the Board of Canvassers to certify election results based on a count of votes cast and clearly establishing that the Board of Canvassers is responsible for certifying the results of an election.
“Voters should decide the outcome of our elections, not politicians,” said Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters Not Politicians. “Unlike other ballot proposals that would take away the rights already afforded voters; this proposal gives voters more secure options for voting in Michigan. And, unlike other ballot initiatives that intend to proceed through the legislature and avoid a vote of the people, our initiative will be on the ballot this November so that voters, not politicians, decide the future of elections in Michigan.”