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voting

According to Halderman, pink counties have a paper trail. Blue counties do not.
Image courtesy of J. Alex Halderman

A blog post in New York Magazine has been sweeping around the internet because it calls into question the results of the 2016 presidential election.

Polling station sign
user jaina / Creative Commons


Many Americans were stunned and blindsided by Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

That’s largely because months and months of polls pointed to a defeat of our new president-elect.

Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service, joined us today to talk about those polls.

“Polling has a lot of problems. It’s just not able to model the electorate successfully, and that seems to be especially true in Michigan,” Gorchow said. “It just flat out failed to model the African-American turnout correctly, it failed to model the rural turnout correctly."

The late Theodore H. White, the prose poet of our national elections, wrote what remains the most lyrical and magical evocation of the meaning of this day.

“It was invisible, as always. They had begun to vote in the villages of New Hampshire at midnight, as they always do … all of this is invisible, for it is the essence of the act that as it happens, it is a mystery in which millions of people each fit one fragment of a total secret together, without knowing the shape of the whole.

Courtesy Michigan Radio

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that today is Election Day. Voters today will decide on a President, members of Congress, state legislators and various ballot proposals.

With our votes having so much weight, some Michigan residents posted about the day on social media.

Sign directing voters to polling place
Steven Depolo / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0 cropped

After a grueling, seemingly endless campaign season, it looks like we might actually make it to the other side of Election Day 2016. This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and I round-up some races to watch in Michigan. We also discuss whether there's potential for trouble at the polls and the slew of presidential candidates and surrogates who visited the state this week.


A list of 4 Election Day "Dos"... and 2 "Don'ts"

Nov 4, 2016
Voting sign.
flickr user justgrimes / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This year, more than 7 million Michigan residents are registered to vote. That’s a record number for the state.

So, now that you’re registered, what should you expect on Election Day?

Voting sign.
flickr user justgrimes / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Election Day is almost here at last, but there are still a lot of questions to be answered.

There’s been a lot of talk about poll challengers and poll watchers, and that’s an issue for the folks who are doing all the work on polling day.

Chris Thomas, director of elections at Michigan's Secretary of State, sat down with us today to talk through some of the questions we still have as November 8 approaches.

user eyspahn / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The U.S. Justice Department will keep a close eye on things in Michigan this election day.

But according to Detroit’s U.S. Attorney, that’s largely business as usual.

Barbara McQuade has appointed Dawn Ison, a “very experienced” prosecutor from her office’s public corruption unit, to be the District Election Officer.

Ison will “be on call” all day to take any complaints of potential federal election violations, from potential fraud to complaints of voter intimidation. She also has a direct line to the Justice Department in Washington if the need arises.

Postcards like this one were mailed out by the Michigan Democratic Party to urge voters to mail in absentee ballots.
Paul Kanan / Michigan Democratic Party

The Michigan Democratic Party wants to make sure all voters who got absentee ballots turn them in on time. But some recipients have been confused.

Several voters have called their county clerk's office to ask about postcards, which were only sent to absentee voters who have yet to mail their ballots in.

Michigan Democratic Party spokesman Paul Kanan says the postcards were never meant to confuse anybody, but instead, to encourage them to vote on time.

“We just want to make sure that everybody who wants to vote does vote and has their vote counted,” Kanan says.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claims there will be “large-scale voter fraud” this election. But election officials say they’re confident that will not be the case in Michigan. 

“We want to assure everyone, regardless of their political ideology or their partisan affiliation that their voice will be heard on election day and their voice will be counted,” said Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for Michigan’s Secretary of State.

Woodhams says this isn’t the first election he’s fielded these concerns, and guesses it won’t be the last.

Voting sign.
flickr user justgrimes / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

How much voice should people have about a development proposed for their neighborhood?

When a developer gets tax breaks or public funding, should the people living around that project get something?

Those questions are at the heart of a pair of a proposals in Detroit.The two competing community benefit ordinances, or CBOs, are on the November ballot.

Courtesy Vadon / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

At last night's Presidential debate, Donald Trump once again highlighted his concerns about voter fraud. 

a pair of feet and chalk spell the word vote on a sidewalk
User Theresa Thompson / Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Updated 10/12/16 at 11:45 am to include redacted complaint and note from attorney.

A Kalamazoo man was wrongly told by the Secretary of State’s office that he was not a legal U.S. citizen and therefore was ineligible to vote, according to the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. 

Managing attorney Susan Reed said the young man, who doesn’t want to be named, was born in Liberia and became a U.S. citizen when his American parents adopted him 10 years ago.

He turned 18 earlier this year, registered to vote, and cast a ballot in the state primary.

But when he and his dad went to their local SOS branch to get him a state ID, a staffer told him that he was not, in fact, a legal U.S. citizen – and therefore shouldn’t have voted.

8 questions and 8 answers about voting in Michigan

Oct 4, 2016
Courtesy H2Woah! / Flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

We're inching closer to the last day that you can register to vote in Michigan. As we near the final day, we want to make sure that everyone has the knowledge about where to vote.

Given that, here are 8 questions you may have about registering to vote and their answers.  

1) When's the last day that I can register to vote?

Campaign signs
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

People complain about political ads, robo-calls interrupting dinner, and mailboxes full of campaign literature.

But there’s another sign of election season: political yard signs. Candidates love them. Political consultants say they’re a waste of time and money.

Campaign representatives will look at ballots, but they're not allowed to touch them.
flickr user Michael Dorausch / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The number of registered voters in Michigan this year is lower than in previous presidential elections based on the data collected through August.

According to the Michigan Secretary of State, there are currently 7,394,663 registered voters in the state, which is fewer than the past two election years. There were 7,470,764 in 2008 and 7,454,553 in 2012.  

Auchter's Art
JOHN AUCHTER / AUCHTOON.COM

Listen, if you got yourself a big ol’ pot of roiling outrage going right now, I’m not the one to tell you to take it off the heat.

It’s election season and who am I to talk you out of the delicious indulgence of indignation? I’m an editorial cartoonist, for crying out loud!

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Russia has been accused of hacking into the emails of the Democratic National Committee. 

So, could Russia or some other country or group hack U.S. voting machines in some states in an attempt to change an election?

The answer, according to a group of determined computer scientists featured in a recent article by Ben Wofford of Politico, is yes.

More than half a million people voted absentee in this week's primary election
Lars Plougmann

Just 1 in 5 Michigan voters cast a ballot Tuesday. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s actually close to a record high turnout for this kind of primary.

“There were a number of highly-contested congressional primaries across the state, so that helped drive interest,” says Fred Woodhams, spokesperson from the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.

polling place sign
Michael Dorausch / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You can vote a straight ticket ballot in November. Maybe.

A federal judge is blocking the Michigan law that banned straight party voting. 

But, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will appeal the decision, probably early next week.

The U.S. District Judge who's blocking the law, Gershwin Drain, wrote an opinion which indicated this would present a disproportionate burden on African American's right to vote. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A pair of new state House bills would remove political party vignettes from the November ballot.

Vignettes are those little pictures that appear next to a party's name on the ballot.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

That moment you step up to the voting machine to cast your vote is arguably the foundation of our democracy.

But here’s something you might not know: Those voting machines that we rely on are wearing out, and fast.

Two years ago, a presidential commission on elections warned of an impending national crisis because of these worn-out voting machines, and according to Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, Michigan is in the thick of it.

Information freeze thaws after injunction on election law

Feb 13, 2016
State law specifically says people without photo IDs, can sign an affidavit - and still vote
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - An information freeze for local and school officials is thawing after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on a new Michigan election law that critics called a gag order.

The injunction came as a relief to many local and school officials fearful of legal repercussions for distributing information about upcoming ballot proposals. Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation into law this year.

Cle0patra / Flickr

(This story was updated at 9:55am on February 2, 2016) 

Michigan's open primary is on March 8th. 

Michigan Radio's senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry stops by Stateside to explore the nuances of  Michigan's 2016 primary with host Cynthia Canty.

Lessenberry thinks Michigan could play a major role in choosing the presidential nominees of one, or both parties this year. Others agree, including the Hillary Clinton campaign, which this weekend called for adding a Democratic debate with Senator Bernie Sanders in Flint just ahead of the primary. 

This has been an intense first week of the year in Michigan politics, with Governor Snyder signing deeply controversial bills, the Flint water crisis, and renewed concern over the impending financial collapse of the Detroit Public Schools.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry explains the straight-ticket voting law that Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law, another proposed bill that would block school districts and municipalities from informing the public about ballot measures within 60 days of an election, and Lessenberry explains what Governor Snyder's state of emergency declaration means for Flint. 


State law specifically says people without photo IDs, can sign an affidavit - and still vote
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

As the Michigan House and Senate wrap up for the year, there’s a piece of legislation that could change what voters experience in the booth. The Republican majority is working to pass a plan that would eliminate the straight-ticket voting option on the ballot.

I spoke with Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.

Both Demas and Sikkema point out that this is not the first time Republicans have tried to pass a ban on straight ticket voting.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Senate has approved campaign finance legislation that would write the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling into state law.

The court ruled that the First Amendment allows unrestricted independent political spending by outside groups.

Democrats say the bill not only codifies “Citizens United” – it expands it.

No-reason absentee voting bill pushed in Michigan House

Dec 5, 2015
user eyspahn / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Republicans' push to eliminate Michigan's straight-party voting option may improve the odds of voters being allowed to cast absentee ballots for any reason.

A lawmaker is pushing for passage of "no-reason" absentee voting legislation next week. Voters could ask for an absentee ballot application in person at their clerk's office without needing an excuse.

They currently must be 60 years or older, be out of town when polls are open or meet other criteria.

Election night last year was not a good one for Michigan Democrats.

They lost ground in both houses of the Legislature, which the Republicans already controlled. They lost the governor’s race, despite a weak re-election campaign on the part of Rick Snyder.

But in races for education boards – the state board and the elected trustees of Michigan’s three major universities, it was a terrible night for Republicans.

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