Welcome to the Democracy Drumbeat! (Authors Note)
Hello, my name is Daniel Rivera! I serve as Elections System Organizer for the Democracy For All team and am the new author of the Democracy Drumbeat!
One of my pressing questions of 2023 is – how do you explain democracy and elections in the most uncomplicated way?
In these spaces, I’ve often found myself googling fancy words, acronyms, and deep diving processes that can be quite complex to understand. I’m here to reimagine ways to talk about democracy. My goal for this newsletter is to explore the latest developments in Michigan voting rights and democratic processes to inspire action for our reader community.
If you’re new here, welcome! I’m excited to get things started in 2023 as we work to ensure our democracy is accessible for everyone!
Our January Democracy Recap
Democracy For All: 313 & 616 Votes
Our vote is our voice. The 313 & 616 Votes team was created to help people understand all the options they have to vote and direct them to the information they need. In addition to playing a role in the largest voter turnout in Michigan history, the 313 & 616 Votes team appreciates the stories they hear from voters and sees the impacts of their work.
Check out their latest video release and our very own Rodney Austin, Voting Rights Organizer for the Democracy For All team. A round of applause for you Rodney!
Secretary Benson announces plan to protect people who protect democracy
Secretary of State Joselyn Benson, election committees leaders, and other lawmakers announced plans to protect thousands of election workers and millions of voters in Michigan.
The plan will:
- Work to ban and increase the penalty for threatening or harassing election workers and for pressuring election officials to act illegally
- Introduce legislation to ban lying to voters when seeking their signatures on petitions and knowingly sharing false information about elections and citizens’ ability to vote
- Provide funding to township, city and county clerks to ensure security of elections and voters
Whitmer emphasizes the importance of healthy democracy to start second term
What an eventful month for Governor Whitmer!
Gov. Whitmer delivering the State of the State address at the Capitol in Lansing! (Photo Credit: Nick King, Lansing State Journal/Detroit Free Press).
January 1, 2023 marked Gov. Whitmer’s second Gubernatorial Inauguration as Michigan’s 49th Governor.
In addition, Gov. Whitmer delivered her fifth State of the State on January 25, 2023 at our State Capitol.
These are special days for Michiganders. Check out some of Gov. Whitmer’s quotes below:
Election Committee Chairs
As the new legislature kicks off, this is an opportunity to share the new leadership of the Election Committees on both the Senate and House side.
Senator Jeremy Moss and Representative Penelope Tsernoglou will lead the committee’s bills and proposals alongside Vice Chairs Senator Paul Wojno and Representative Dylan Wegela.
I want to emphasize, elected officials are here to connect with members of the community and build on these policies together. Below I have collected Clerk’s information from each committee if you need to reach out or connect with them.
Clerk: Elena Palombo, (517) 373-1721
Clerk: Edward Sleeper, (517) 373-2002
Audits of the 2022 election to be conducted by bipartisan officials
On January 12, state and local election officials began conducting more than 200 audits of the November 8, 2022 general election to affirm the accuracy and integrity of the results and identify best practices.
The Bureau expects the audits will conclude by February 17. Additional details on the audit process can be found here and here.
Submit a question for the Democracy For All team!
Do you have questions for us? We want to hear from you!
If you have questions about the Democracy For All team’s work or topics covered in the Democracy Drumbeat, you can submit your question by clicking this link.
We will review your questions and pick one to answer in the next issue of the Democracy Drumbeat!
Thanks for reading an have a great week!