Spread the Word: The “Secure MI Vote” Petition is a Fraud. Do Not Sign!

Dear Members of the Michigan Resistance:

Spread the Word: The “Secure MI Vote” Petition is a Fraud. Do Not Sign!

As of today, the summary language for the “Secure MI Vote” petition is under review by the State Board of Canvassers. Once approved, this group will hit the streets gathering signatures for an initiative based on fraudulent claims that the proposed laws will improve voter access and election security. Even more duplicitous, the petitioners have no intention to let this initiative go to the ballot where they know it will be soundly defeated by Michigan voters. Instead, their plan is to have the currently gerrymandered legislature pass before it gets to the ballot. All they need is 340K signatures to overrule the will of the people, and make their law veto proof.

Our first task this week is to educate everyone we can about the danger of this petition and urge them not to sign. The petitioners have 180 days to secure 340K signatures needed to overturn the will of the voters who passed positive election reforms by overwhelming numbers in 2018. "Issue #1 Background Information" below provides all the information you need to take action on this important issue.

Our second task this week is to make sure our current severely gerrymandered districts do not stay that way. In 2018, Michigan voters took the power to draw districts away from politicians and put it in the hands of citizens. While we successfully created a fair process, sadly this has not guaranteed a fair outcome. Here again, we have right wing operatives working their hardest to counter the will of the voters. While we successfully created a fair process, sadly this has not guaranteed a fair outcome. Right-wing backed groups are flooding the Independent Redistricting Commission meetings with claims that the old maps are just great! And the commissioners are listening. We need to show up at these meetings in huge numbers to counter this attempt to high-jack the process. See "Issue #2 Background Information" below for instructions on how to help.

We appreciate you, our loyal, dedicated members who open these emails week after week and continue to take action. It isn’t always easy to stay in the fight. But you do it because you know we cannot go backwards if our democracy is going to survive. So we thank you with our whole hearts!

In Solidarity,

Ginger, Terryl and Margaret Michigan Resistance


Background

Issue # 2 Background:

“Secure MI Vote” Petition Makes Fraudulent Claims: Do Not Sign!

As of today, the language for the “Secure MI Vote” petition is under review by the State Board of Canvassers. Once approved, this group will hit the streets gathering signatures for an initiative based on fraudulent claims that the proposed laws will improve voter access and election security. Even more duplicitous, the petitioners have no intention to let this initiative go to the ballot where they know it will be soundly defeated by Michigan voters. Instead, their plan is to have the currently gerrymandered legislature pass before it gets to the ballot. All they need is 340K signatures to overrule the will of the people, and make their law veto proof.

Our task this week is to educate everyone we can about the danger of this petition and urge them not to sign. The petitioners have 180 days to secure 340K signatures needed to overturn the will of the voters who passed positive election reforms by overwhelming numbers in 2018.


The petition summary language reads as follows:

An initiation of legislation to protect the right to vote and increase confidence in the conduct of elections by requiring photo identification before casting a ballot, to increase participation by providing free photo identification to anyone needing to vote, and to protect election integrity by prohibiting special interest funding of elections by amending Michigan Election code...(code section numbers listed).

MCL 168.482b(1)(b) requires a petition summary to be a “true and impartial statement of the purpose of the proposed amendment...in language that does not create prejudice for or against the proposed amendment....” The Petition Summary proposed by Secure MI Vote, however, reads like a campaign mailer and fails to satisfy these requirements. Nearly every representation the Summary makes about what the current law is, and what the petition would do, is untrue and/or not impartial.

First, the clause “to protect the right to vote and increase confidence in the conduct of elections by requiring photo identification before casting a ballot” suggests that a photo ID is not needed currently -- that is not true. Michigan

Election Law already requires photo ID to cast a ballot. MCL 168.523(1). The amendments that the sponsor proposes would make it more difficult for a person who arrives to vote without the required photo identification, but the underlying photo identification requirement already exists.

Additionally, the assertion that the proposed amendment, which would clearly make it more difficult for people to vote, would “protect the right to vote” is disingenuous and not impartial. Likewise, whether such changes to the process would “increase confidence in elections” is at best a matter of opinion that is strongly disputed, and is not impartial at all.

The clause to “increase participation by providing free photo identification to anyone needing it to vote” is also absurd. The purpose of the amendments is clearly to decrease voter participation by making it more difficult for those who may not have identification or forget to bring it on Election Day. In addition, a person can obtain photo identification for free right now.

The reason why someone might need to obtain this new form of identification, which is created solely to make it more onerous for people to vote, is never even explained in the Petition Summary.

The last clause “to protect election integrity by prohibiting special interest funding of elections” also has no business being in the Petition Summary. The proposed amendments would eliminate all private funding, including for voter registration and election security. Moreover, the term “special interest” is not defined, is a matter of opinion, and is a misleadingly narrow description of what the amendments would actually prohibit.

Finally, the Petition Summary fails to explain what the proposed amendments would actually do, including to:

  • Fundamentally change the process required for persons who do not have photo identification, by not allowing them to vote a regular ballot, not allowing their ballot to be counted on election day and requiring them to go to a clerk’s office within 6 days after the election with certain specified forms of identification in order to have their vote ever be counted.

  • Prohibit sending absentee ballot applications to people absent a specific request. But sending them without request only makes voting easier and more accessible.

  • Gives local clerks access to highly personal sensitive information for all voters in their area, including social security and driver’s license numbers, without any protection or safeguards. A person cannot even register to vote without providing the last four digits of their social security number.

  • Prohibits private entities from helping to fund election administration. Denying this funding will decrease voting access, not improve it. Why pass a law to give clerks fewer resources to administer elections efficiently? Governments receive grants all the time. Clerks put this type of money to work last November to pay overtime and additional salaries to handle the high demand. Banning grants is equivalent to raising taxes. Bad policy, bad law.

Suggested Language to Share with Michiganders:

I’m calling to let you know about a new, highly misleading petition called “Secure MI Vote” that promotes laws intended to undermine our freedom to vote. Please call 5 other people to educate them about this fraudulent petition so they do not sign it.

The petition language states that “legislation will protect the right to vote and increase confidence in the conduct of elections by requiring photo identification before casting a ballot, to increase participation by providing free photo identification to anyone needing to vote, and to protect election integrity by prohibiting special interest funding of elections by amending Michigan Election code”

However, the petition is NOT about protecting the vote or increasing participation. Requiring photo ID, even if it is provided free of charge, serves to decrease participation. The current law allows those without photo ID to vote so long as they sign an affidavit swearing, under penalty of law, that they are who they say they are. There is zero evidence that the affidavit provision has enabled a single fraudulent vote. Other provisions of the proposed law are equally damaging to our freedom to vote. If you would like more information, I can email it to you. (Ask for email address)


Suggested Language for Texting Michiganders:

A new, highly misleading petition called “Secure MI Vote” that promotes laws to undermine our freedom to vote. Please call 5 other people to educate them about this fraudulent petition so they do not sign it. More information at tinyurl.com/SureMIVote-is-a-Fraud

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Issue # 2 Background:

We Cannot Allow the GOP to Game the Redistricting Process

In 2018, 61% of Michigan voters passed Prop 2 which took the power to draw districts away from politicians and put it in the hands of the citizens. While the new law successfully created a fair process, sadly it has not guaranteed a fair outcome. GOP operatives are working their hardest to counter the will of the voters by flooding the Independent Redistricting Commission meetings with claims that the current heavily gerrymandered maps are just great! And the commissioners are listening. We need to show up at these meetings in huge numbers to counter this attempt to high-jack the process.

The non-partisan Michigan AFL-CIO Fair Maps project has done a lot of work to create maps that provide the fairest representation. From their website: https://miaflcio.org/fairmaps “The districts we drew in our maps comply with the letter and spirit of the Voting Rights Act, comply with equal population requirements, are contiguous, reflect Michigan’s diverse population and communities of interest, do not provide a disproportionate advantage to any political party, do not favor or disfavor any incumbent elected officials or candidates, reflect county, city and township boundaries, and are compact.”

Republicans are actively organizing and winning. They are showing up at commission meetings in droves making boilerplate statements.

This is what you can do:

The best way you can help is by attending one of the in-person public hearings, which you can find listed at our digital sign-up form linked here: https://forms.gle/VyS65TagdmNYW8Fi7. If you sign up, someone from the Fair Maps team will reach out to go over the details around the logistics of making a public comment, and answer any questions.

We need sustained, presidential-election GOTV-level turnout for the remainder of Sept & October to get fair maps. In person or Zoom comments are best. Written comment is also helpful if the other two are not possible for you.

In your comments to the commission, it is important to stress that partisan fairness and willingness to split cities and counties are necessary to advance the goals of Prop 2.

For more information, please visit: https://miaflcio.org/fairmaps/ or contact Max Lewis at mlewis@mialcio.org 734-546-5744

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Here are some calling parties with our state representatives!