We can transform Michigan’s democracy in time for 2020 — and your support is needed
It’s not just because we have a historic all-women slate of statewide candidates. And It’s not just because we have a chance to reject several Republican Members who celebrated their vote to uninsure 23 million.
No state — with the possible exception of Florida, which could back the largest voter enfranchisement of the century — has a better chance of fixing its democracy that the state Donald Trump only won by about 10,000 votes.
Schwarzenegger and Lawrence are focused on Proposal 2, which would allow voters to set up an independent redistricting commission in one of the most gerrymandered, undemocratic states in the Union. But that’s just the beginning of the new hopes for democracy on our ballot.
Proposal 1 would legalize marijuana and use the more than $260 million that will be generated to fund our schools, roads and local communities, which have been starved by the GOP thirst for tax cuts. Add that to the $90 million we’ll save for not prosecuting silly pot crimes and we’re suddenly talking the kind of big money Trump and his dad stole from taxpayers.
And then there’s the most historic ballot measure most of us will ever have a chance to support — Proposal 3. MLive reports Proposal 3 would:
- Automatically register people to vote when they obtain or renew their driver’s license or state identification card, as long as they are a U.S. citizen and age 18 or older. Currently, Michigan residents must request and fill out separate paperwork for voter registration.
- Allow people to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day, including on Election Day. The current registration deadline is 30 days before the election.
- Allow voters to obtain an absentee ballot without providing a reason. Absentee balloting is currently limited to people who are age 60 and older, disabled, poll workers or who sign an affidavit saying they will be out of town on Election Day.
- Reinstate the option of a straight-ticket vote for all candidates of a particular political party by marking one spot on the ballot. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a law ending that practice, and this November election will be the first time that option is not allowed.
Michigan would become the first swing state Trump won to have automatic registration and you should not discount the importance of this innovation. In his new book An Uncivil War: Taking Back Our Democracy in an Age of Trumpian Disinformation and Thunderdome Politics, Greg Sargent has an amazing chapter that unveils how this leap forward for voting rights reduces and eliminates many of the perverse incentives against voting. Candidates that actually want people to vote will be freed up from one of the greatest burdens of campaigning to focus on issues. And voters will suffer fewer of the unnecessary hoops to vote that all send the most vulnerable citizens the same message, stay home.
And to preserve these wins for democracy against a federal judiciary captured by conservatives and their corporate backers, we need a state judiciary that represents the people, not the politicians. And for the first time in a generation, progressives can take and hold our State Supreme court by electing Sam Bagenstos and Megan Cavanagh.
This is a lot to communicate! And we want to make the stakes and opportunities clear to the whole state, which is why we’re launching a state-wide guide next week. And this is in addition to all the other amazing work Chris Savage and the team he assembled do at Eclectablog and on the GOTMFV podcast.
We hope you’ll join with our committed community of supporters now, if you haven’t already given all your money to Beto O’Rourke. We could turn shame of 2016 into one of the greatest victories for democracy this century.
Here’s how to help.
You can use the handy PayPal form at the top of the right sidebar to make a one-time donation via Paypal in the amount of your choice. Second, you can send a check (which avoids Paypal taking out a percentage of your donation) to Chris Savage, P.O. Box 32, Dexter, MI 48130. Please make the check payable to “Eclectablog”.
If you simply aren’t able to make a donation of any kind (and we appreciate support at ALL levels), please continue to share our posts throughout all of your social media platforms to ensure that the hard work of our most excellent staff is seen by as many folks as possible.