PEG 12th Congressional District
WAVE - We All Vote Everytime
Newsletter #150
187 weeks down, 34 weeks to go until Election Day!
Census Day Countdown: 31 days
"According to Michigan election officials, the 70,000 ballots were counted in down-ballot voting, but it could not be determined whom those 70,000 voters had selected for president. So the votes were tossed out. Had Clinton received those 70,000 votes, she would have won the state of Michigan hands down." The Hill
We need qualified, trained poll workers so this doesn't happen again!
Your help is needed on election day! Are you able to put in a (long) day ensuring that your fellow citizens get to vote? It's probably the most important thing you can do this year if you care about the 2020 elections. Election Inspectors– the folks who check your registration and help you through the voting process, as well as those counting absentee ballots– are needed in all 26 municipalities in Washtenaw County. 

Election Inspectors are paid for their time on Election Day and to attend training. Recruitment is a challenge in areas outside of the county’s main population centers – though there is a need everywhere. While most shifts are for a full day, if you are interested but can’t do the full span, don’t hesitate to contact your Clerk to see if they can use you. 

The County has a resource page available online for those interested in serving as an Election Inspector and a brief online interest form to connect potential recruits with a city or township Clerk.

By having enough trained poll workers:
  •  The lines to vote will be people in line will leave without voting
  •  Voters will not be told that can't vote out of ignorance or malice
  •  Unlike last year, no batches of votes will be invalidated due to proper procedures not be followed
  •  It will be possible to track who isn't voting on election day in time to reach out to them

Poll watcher/election challengers must 1) take training on the new election law; 2) work politely with official poll workers on their turf; and 3) be willing to act at a polling place when problems arise. There will be a hotline for poll watchers/challengers to consult with lawyers as needed. You can express your interest in possibly being a poll watcher/election inspector by   filling out this form .
Election Challenger: Part II
by Ellen K. Halter, PEG Contributor

Last week I wrote about my experience as an election challenger in 2008 when Obama was first elected. I cherish that memory, the feeling I had of being up to my elbows in the democratic process.

Also known as voter protection volunteers, Election Challengers are appointed by the Democratic party to ensure that every eligible voter gets to vote. If challengers believe the election law is not being followed and a voter is unfairly disenfranchised, they have the right to challenge the actions of poll workers.

If you are a registered voter and think you’d like to become an election challenger, here are the requisite steps to attaining that status.
  • First, you must liberate your time and energy on election day by voting absentee. For a link to an application for absentee voting, click here.
  • Second, you must attend a training session. Training for the March primary will be offered in person in multiple locations, and by webinar, from February 22 - March 1. (The experience of being an election challenger for the March primary will be paramount for serving as a challenger for the August primary, and then for the presidential election in November.)
  • Third, you must submit this form.

Read Part 1 of this series on the PEG Website .
Events
Thursday, February 20 . Indivisible Dexter Caucus meeting to discuss presidential candidate preferences
They are hoping to hear from everyone about who they like as a candidate for President and who they don’t like! Whether you are decided, open to persuasion, or completely undecided, you have a voice next week, and they want to hear it! Jolly Pumpkin Dexter , 2319 Bishop Circle E, Dexter . 7:00-8:30pm
Thursday, February 20. Rep. Debbie DIngell (MI-12) Town Hall
Downriver Environmental Town Hall Meeting. RSVP here . 2700 Westfield Rd, Trenton. 7 pm

Thursday, February 20. Eastern Washtenaw Dems meeting
Contact Micheal White at electmichaelwhite@gmail.com for more information. WCDP Office , 418 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, 7 pm
Poor People’s Campaign Washtenaw County Coffee & Catch Up
  • Friday, February 21
  • Friday, February 28
  • Friday, March 7
B-24's Espresso Bar Eats and Entertainment, 217 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti . 2:30–4 pm
Saturday, February 22. U of M Ann Arbor Get Out The Vote Canvass
It's almost time for the Presidential Primary on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. NextGen Michigan is looking for volunteers to help them door canvass around U of M Ann Arbor campus to get out the vote to increase voter turnout. You can select a time to help and sign up here. University of Michigan Tisch Hall, 435 S State St, Suite G026, Ann Arbor .
Saturday, February 22. Yousef and You–Community Forum
Share your views and concerns with Rep. Rabhi. Community Room, RoosRoast Coffee, 1155 Rosewood St, Ann Arbor . 10 am
Representative Donna Lasinski Coffee Hours
Coffee with Jeff Irwin
Sunday, February 23. Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus Ann Arbor Kickoff
Hear from Congresswoman Debbie Dingell about the importance of the Jewish vote, organizing to fight intolerance and antisemitism, and learn more about how to get involved with the Jewish Caucus in Washtenaw County. Pretzel Bell, 226 S Main St, Ann Arbor . 3–5 pm
Call with MI Resistance
This week’s focus: Tell GOP Senators Not to Play NRA Games with Appointments
If they are not afraid of the truth, they should not be afraid of witnesses and documents.
Sign up for a calling party here .
Tuesday, February 25. Washtenaw County leads the state of Michigan in recidivism. Learn why and what we can do about it
Brighter Way is partnering with the ReNEW Michigan, United Way of Washtenaw County, and several other area organizations to discuss:
  • Why Washtenaw County is doing so poorly when it comes to repeat offenses
  • The challenges of reentry in Washtenaw County
  • Proven and promising solutions to the problem
  • Increasing support for community-based organizations
  Panelists will include:
Jeff Irwin, State Senator
Kyle Kaminski, Legislative Affairs, Michigan Department of Corrections
Malachi Muhammad, employee, The Lunch Room
Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center  4135 Washtenaw AveAnn Arbor, MI 48108 .
6:30–8:30 pm
Learn about the great work done by the League of Women Voters
Attend one of these meetings and be introduced to League Basics for members and prospective members. Come early for a chance to meet and get to know each other, followed by a program and Q&A about the League.

Ypsilanti Library - 5577 Whittaker Rd
Contact member Barb Brown for more information.
  • Wednesday, March 4. 6:30–7:30 pm

Saline District Library - 555 N Maple Rd
Contact member Lynne Kochmanski for more information.
  • Monday, March 23. 5:30–6:30 pm
A thing to do
Environmentalists–Turn up the heat by turning up at the polls
The Environmental Voter Project aims to increase voter demand for environmental leadership by identifying inactive environmentalists and then turning them into consistent activists and voters. Here's the method:
  • Identifying and engaging environmentalists
  • Registering environmental voters
  • Mobilizing environmental voters
Good News
The Chance of a Lifetime
Owner  of three successful Ann Arbor food establishments -- Detroit Street Filling Station, The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen, and The Lunch Room Bakery & Café, Phillis Engelbert’s biggest triumph is her willingness to hire people with criminal records and give them another chance.  Disregarding what potential employees have done in the past, she focuses instead on their willingness to work hard and treat others well. She is also committed to hiring people in recovery from addiction.
WAVE and Absentee Voting
Help keep our elections, fair, secure and accurate – VOTE FROM HOME
To find out how easy it is to VOTE FROM HOME, avoid the lines and avoid the scrutiny at the polls contact WAVE . All Michigan voters are now able to vote from home for any reason. Clerks around the state are facing the processing of the additional absentee ballots. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press , with the surge in absentee voters, as well as access to election-day voter registration, many clerks across the state are concerned about providing quick and accurate election results on election day. Most of the solutions to accomplish fair, secure and accurate results will require additional resources. 
  Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson asked lawmakers for an additional $3 million to process these ballots more efficiently. Let your legislators know the importance of this funding! 
Go to WAVE to get your absentee ballot and vote from home.
Census 2020
Census Questions and Answers
Simple answer: Yes.
If you are living in the United States, you are legally required by the Census Act to respond to the U.S. Census. Failure to respond to any of the census questions could result in a fine of $5000 for each question refused or falsely answered.  An individual could also be subject to a limited prison term for non-compliance or false answers. Since the U.S. Census Bureau is not a prosecuting agency, failure to provide information is unlikely to result in a fine. Census Bureau staff work to achieve cooperation by helping the public understand that responding to the Census is a matter of civic responsibility and benefits your state in determining the number of representatives your state has in Congress.  This information also assists state and local officials in drawing boundaries for congressional districts, state legislative districts, and school districts as well as provides money to your state for social services.
More complex answer: Respond when contacted the first time.  This saves taxpayer money. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated that, in 2010, it cost the Census Bureau approximately $0.42 per housing unit if the household returned the survey that they received in the mail. On the other hand, if the initial survey was not answered, the Census Bureau had to spend another $98 per housing unit (or $57 per person) to collect the data.
2.     Why the Census Asks Particular Questions?
  • POPULATION COUNT (NUMBER OF PEOPLE LIVING OR STAYING) We ask this question to collect an accurate count of the number of people at each address on Census Day, April 1, 2020.
  • ANY ADDITIONAL PEOPLE LIVING OR STAYING Our goal is to count people once, only once, and in the right place according to where they live on Census Day. Keeping this goal in mind, we ask this question to ensure that everyone living at an address is counted.
  • OWNER/RENTER We ask about whether a home is owned or rented to create statistics about homeownership and renters. Homeownership rates serve as an indicator of the nation’s economy and help in administering housing programs and informing planning decisions.
  • PHONE NUMBER We ask for a phone number in case we need to contact you. We will never share your number and will only contact you if needed for official Census Bureau business.
3.     Are my answers confidential?
This factsheet provides background on the existing law regarding disclosure of census data by the Census Bureau. Key points are:
  • Federal law establishes confidentiality protections applicable to individual census responses. Protections include:
  • Prohibiting the Census Bureau from using census information to the detriment of a respondent or for any purpose other than producing statistical datasets; and
  • Making it a felony for census workers or other Census Bureau employees to publish or distribute individual responses or other information that would identify an individual, business, or organization.
  • The Census Bureau can share compiled census data, including statistical and demographic data at the community or neighborhood level. Personal information collected (including names, addresses with or without GPS coordinates, ethnicity, and telephone numbers) cannot be disclosed or published for 72 years and cannot be shared with any other government agencies or officials (federal, state, or local), outside entities (such as a business, landlord, or employer), or courts of law for any reason.  Employees who violate the law are subject to criminal sanctions, including adjusted fines up to $250,000 and up to five years in prison.
Census 2020 is hiring
The US Census Bureau is looking for thousands of Michiganders to apply for census jobs, full and part time, nights and weekends.  Without enough workers, the Census cannot achieve a “ Complete Count ,” and the reapportionment of Congress may not accurately reflect the actual “number of whole persons living in each state,” and election district lines may not contain the required equal number of people in each.
Jobs include Census Takers, Census Field Supervisors, Recruiting Assistants, Clerk, and Office Operations Supervisor. As an incentive, Michigan is paying Census 2020 workers $23 per hour. Full information is here: 2020census.gov/jobs . Or call 1-855-JOB-2020.
About PEG and WAVE
WAVE  (We All Vote Every time)  is its own entity. However, to alleviate redundancies, information is distributed via the Protectors of Equality (PEG) Newsletter. Stay tuned for important WAVE updates! The PEG Newsletter typically goes out each Thursday, with a repeat send on Sunday to recipients that have not opened it Thursday. PEG is a non-partisan volunteer organization whose mission is to assure that our government will treat all Americans with equality and acceptance. PEG's work is primarily done by recruiting, educating and nurturing supporters for worthy organizations, actions and events that reflect our beliefs.

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Thanks to Newsletter contributors: Leslie McGraw, Richard Gaeth, Ellen Halter, Lisa Kamil, Leslie Kamil, Bette Cotzin, Bernie Banet, Mike Fried, and Chuck Newman for their help preparing our newsletters. Write us at equalityingovinfo@gmail.com if you would like help create our weekly newsletter. It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.
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