voter registration

Lars Plougmann / Creative Commons

Today is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 4th general elections.

To register, you can stop by your local Secretary of State’s office or your county, city or township clerk’s office. Applicants will be required to present a picture ID or sign an affidavit.

Carmella Sabaugh is the county clerk and Register of Deeds of Macomb County. She says the clerk’s office will remain open and accept registrations until midnight on Monday.

“We have got a lot of last-minute registrations that way. The important thing is people have to be registered before they can vote.” 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today  is the deadline to register to vote for the November elections. Michigan residents can go to their local Secretary of State's office or a city clerk's office to register.

Fred Woodhams is with the Michigan Secretary of State. He says there is still time for people to register to vote.

"This November, 75 of Michigan's 83 counties will have elections. Probably the most publicized one is the Detroit mayoral race," he said. "Certainly Detroit residents will be voting on city council members as well, and cities throughout the state will have council elections."

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Monday is the deadline to register to vote for the 56 local elections in Michigan this August.   

Elections range from local primaries to school boards to city council votes.

The Michigan Secretary of State is urging Michiganders to get out to vote in their local elections.

Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams says local elections often affect voters most directly.

Lead in text: 
Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson recently broke down how she came up with her numbers of illegal non-citizen voters on our show "Stateside with Cynthia Canty." She estimated that as many as 4,000 non-citizens are on state voter rolls. The AP reports that Johnson's figures have not been verified.
Politics & Government
Michigan Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson.
MI SOS

A mobile Secretary of State office is stopping at 5 Southeast Michigan colleges and universities this week.

It’s part of an ongoing effort by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to make sure voters are registered for upcoming elections.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Some election officials will ignore citizenship question at polls

"A handful of local election officials say they won't ask voters to affirm their U-S citizenship at the polls in November. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson wants ballot applications to include the question. A spokesman for the Secretary of State's office says the intent is to clean up voter rolls. Until 2008, the federal government required the Secretary of State to ask anyone who got a driver's license whether they wanted to register to vote. Some non-citizens were inadvertently registered, although it's not clear how many," Sarah Hulett reports.

Palisades inspections start this week

"Federal inspectors begin a critical review of operations at West Michigan’s Palisades nuclear power plant beginning Monday. Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors want to determine if Palisades’ owners have addressed problems that have raised questions about the nuclear plant’s “culture of safety." The problems have resulted in four unscheduled reactor shutdowns. If Palisades doesn’t get very good ratings from the NRC inspectors, the west Michigan nuclear plant will be subject to a much more intensive inspection that could take 18 months. Despite the problems a federal official insists Palisades can be operated safely," Steve Carmody reports.

Michigan Civilian Conservation Corp gets support

"Colleges, universities, and community groups are lining up to support an effort to revive Michigan’s Civilian Conservation Corps. The corps puts unemployed young adults to work on conservation projects. Legislation at the state Capitol would turn the MCCC into a public-private partnership, which wouldn’t use any taxpayer dollars. But not everyone thinks the program can just sprout back up overnight. The program hasn’t had adequate state funding for years. But sponsors of the bi-partisan bill say the level of enthusiasm so far suggests the program can make a strong comeback," Jake Neher reports.

There weren’t a lot of surprises in yesterday’s election. Turnout, which was expected to be poor, was poor indeed.

Most of the incumbents won, and in races where new districts threw two officeholders together, the ones who had the most money usually won, except in a few cases where they were outworked.

What surprises did happen were mostly under the radar. Few noticed, but the voters absolutely humiliated the Republican establishment in suburban Wayne and Oakland Counties.

Gov. Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder for Michigan / Facebook.com

Update 3:18 p.m.

MPRN’s Rick Pluta reports that reactions to Gov. Snyder's vetoes today were divided across party lines:

Republicans – including Secretary of State Ruth Johnson – said the bills were reasonable ways to ensure only people who are supposed to vote cast ballots. She says the veto will not stop her from including a box on voter registration forms affirming their U.S. citizenship.

The governor did sign 11 other bills in the package. But GOP leaders in the Legislature expressed disappointment in their Republican governor’s decision to veto some of their work.

House Speaker Jase Bolger quickly issued a statement expressing his disappointment in the vetoes.    

Democrats, on the other hand, praised the decision as “courageous.”

House Democratic Leader Rick Hammell said the vetoes were “brave,” and Michigan AFL CIO President Karla Swift praised the governor for standing up to “extremists” in his party.

The governor said in a veto letter that “voting rights are precious and we need to work especially hard to make it possible for people to vote.” 

2:07 p.m.

The Michigan Election Coalition publicly thanked Gov. Rick Snyder for vetoing three election bills today. The group is a collection of organizations with the common aim of ending what it calls "voter suppression legislation" in Lansing.

In an MEC press release, Sue Smith, President of the League of Women Voters of Michigan said,

“On the eve of Independence Day, this is a huge victory for our American democracy. We want to thank Gov. Snyder for doing the right thing by vetoing this unfair and unjust legislation. While today’s action is a step in the right direction, the League of Women Voters will continue to educate voters about their rights to make sure every eligible voter can make their voice heard at the ballot box this November."

In the press release another MEC member, Melanie McElroy, Executive Director of Common Cause Michigan, said,

“Gov. Snyder’s veto pen should send a strong message to Lansing politicians that it’s time to halt these voter suppression efforts once and for all. Our elected leaders need to stop the partisan games, and start working together to expand access to voting in Michigan.”

The AP reports that Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger says he's "deeply disappointed" his party's governor vetoed "very reasonable" changes to election laws.

More from Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta to come.

12:35 p.m.

Gov. Snyder has vetoed three bills in a Republican-sponsored package.

The vetoed bills would have required people to affirm their U.S. citizenship and show a photo ID before they can get a ballot, and require people to get training before they can register voters. In both cases, the governor says, the measures would have created too much confusion about who can vote or register people to vote.

The governor signed 11 other measures including ones that would require ballot petitions to be submitted in advance for the Secretary of State to post online, and forbid the use of campaign funds to cover legal expenses unrelated to campaigning.

screengrab from the War Room on Current TV

Yesterday, a meeting of the Michigan House Redistricting and Elections Committee was disrupted by protesters angry about proposed changes to the state's election laws.

Chief among protesters' concerns was a measure, now headed to the state House floor, that would strengthen ID requirements for voter registration in Michigan.

gophouse.com

A House committee meeting in Lansing was interrupted today by a group of about 50 protestors angry over proposed election law changes.

The House Redistricting and Elections Committee planned to vote on a series of changes including one that would require either a photo ID or birth certificate to be presented when registering to vote.  Opponents argue that the new rule would create unfair hurdles for some potential voters.

Protestors yelled slogans including "respect our vote" and some people were escorted outside.

According to the Detroit News, the protest was led by Pastor W.J. Rideout and Rev. Charles Williams Sr., the latter of whom told committee members "you're killing democracy" before leaving the meeting.

Another man, the News says, told committee chairman Rep. Pete Lund that, "The blood of Martin Luther King Junior is on your hands."

Despite the disruption, the committee voted to have the bill move to the House floor. 

-John Klein Wilson,Michigan Radio Newsroom

usesr muffet / Flickr

The state Senate has approved some prospective changes in Michigan voting laws.

The measures would require training for people who register voters, and make people who pick up absentee ballots show a photo ID or sign an affidavit affirming their identity.

Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson called for some new election rules to discourage vote fraud.

“Michigan has a good election system, a very good election system, but we want to improve that even more,” said Ruth Johnson’s spokesman Fred Woodhams.

The measures have raised concerns with voter-rights advocates.

user: detdan / flickr.com

While the Occupy Detroit movement has vacated Grand Circus Park for the winter, they are not slowing down in getting their message out, and as the Huffington Post Detroit reports, they are trying out new avenues to make an impact.

The Huffpost's Kate Abbey-Lambertz writes: