"The Voter" Newsletter for June, 2020
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xThe need for paper voter guides has never been greater. There are people who do not have access to computers, especially in underrepresented communities. Although libraries are reopening, people are not likely to spend precious computer time looking up candidates online, but they are likely to read voter guides at home. There are many voters, especially older voters, who do not or cannot access the internet.
We also have the responsibility to promote VOTE411.org online. What promotions can you offer?
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ACLU and LWVMI Challenge Michigan Absentee Ballot Deadline
xxThe American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s requirement that absentee ballots be received by Election Day in order to be counted. The lawsuit, League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Benson, was filed in the Michigan Court of Appeals on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Michigan and individual voters.
xxWhen a 2018 ballot initiative, Proposal 3, was approved, voters were given the constitutional right to submit an absentee ballot, including by mail, any time during the 40 days before the election. An Election Day return deadline for absentee ballots, as opposed to a postmark deadline, violates this right and could illegally lead to thousands of voters being disenfranchised by their absentee ballot being rejected.
xxAccording to the most recent data from the Michigan Secretary of State, 1.75 percent of absentee ballots were rejected for the May 5, 2020 election because they arrived at their respective clerks’ offices after 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. This means that of the 7.7 million registered Michigan voters, at least 134,000 voters could be disenfranchised in November.
xxThe groups are seeking an expedited decision due to the fast approaching August 4 primary and November 3 general election.
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Environmental News
xxPFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals – have been on the radar for some time. They are described as “forever chemicals”, “global pollutants”, “nonstick nightmares”, and they are invading our waters and our bodies. PFAS, which number in the thousands, continue to be dumped into our creeks, streams, lakes, and rivers throughout Michigan.  Since PFAS are found in such things as fast food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, fire-fighting foam, and water repellent clothing, all of us may be contributing to the problem that PFAS are found in fish in Lake Michigan as well as in wild life that drink from Michigan creeks, streams, and lakes.
xxIt has been recommended that Michigan set the strongest PFAS rules. U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, MI, introduced HR535 to force cleanup of PFAS; it has passed in Congress. The White House has threatened to veto the legislation if it gets that far along. We must support this bill and hope it does become law.
xxOn a positive note, though millions of people are struggling horribly during this pandemic, we are all breathing cleaner air. --- Chris
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League of Women Voters Lake Michigan Region
xxServing on the Board of the LWVLMR is one of the many rewards of being a member of LWVBCC. Within that Board, there are a number of committees whose members work on a diversity of issues.
xxPrimary among the issues is the health of Lake Michigan, but we also advocate on rivers and streams as well as on the quality of waters from these bodies. xxWe study and make recommendations on pollutants, algal blooms, invasive plant species, and invasive water species. We take action on issues brought to our attention by many environmental groups, and we contact our government representatives when the subject merits their attention – which is often.
xxThe Canadian energy company, Enron, owner of the aging oil-carrying Line 5 located on the bottom of Lake Michigan at the Straits, continues to work toward obtaining permits to build a tunnel through the Straits so that they can continue pumping heavy crude.
xxIf you have concerns you would like me to bring to the attention of the LWV Lake Michigan Region Board, give me a call at 269 449 2225.
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Support League
Litigation Efforts
xxWe are less than six months away from one of the most consequential elections of a generation, and the first national election to be held since the COVID-19 crisis began. Additionally, federal courts are poised to rule in several cases that will determine who can vote and who can’t … how our congressional districts are drawn … and how to respond to other critical issues like climate change.
xxAttacks on our voting rights are ever increasing, and your generous support is needed now to help the League take legal action to:
xxxxPreserve in-person voting locations in each state because eliminating them disproportionately impacts communities of color, people with disabilities, and Native American communities with limited or unreliable mail system support.
xxxxFight against unreasonable voter roll purges that effectively disenfranchise millions of voters across the country, but especially in Detroit. The League has been granted a motion to intervene in Public Interest Legal Foundation vs. Winfrey which seeks to force the City of Detroit to conduct an aggressive purge, based on questionable and unsubstantiated data, that would likely result in eligible voters being thrown off the City’s voter registration rolls.
xxThe League’s litigation work is some of our hardest. Please help fuel our vital work to protect and strengthen our democracy in courtrooms and in state legislatures with your generous donation.
xxWe are still working harder than ever to register and engage new voters by Election Day. We’re also moving ahead with our People Powered Fair Maps initiative to get fair maps in place despite the necessary Census 2020 data delays.
Please help power these critical efforts by donating today to:.
League of Women Voters of the United States
1730 M Street NW Suite 1000
Washington D.C. 20036-4508

Non-Partisan Policy
The League as an organization does not support or oppose any political party, candidate for elected office, or any group that supports candidates. As individuals, though, but not as representatives of the League, members are encouraged to participate in political activity and to run for office. Our non-partisan policy does require two Board members--the President and the Voter Service Chair--to totally abstain from partisan political activity.
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