PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #179, Thursday, September 10, 2020
199 weeks down, 53 days until Election Day!
General Election: Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Let's not let history repeat itself
In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost to Trump in the state of Michigan with a measly 11,000 votes. In the August Primary Election, that same ugly number resurfaced as 11,000 absentee ballots were thrown out. We can not afford to lose ANY Michigan votes this November. This issue is dedicated to sharing some proven ways that we can make sure that every vote counts!
PEG Exclusive: 11,000 ballots rejected in August Primaries!

According to the Michigan SOS website, there were close to 11,000 rejected ballots in the primary election. More than 80% were due to signature verification issues or late arrival. PEG's goal is to make sure that every vote is counted this November.

Read more
equalityingov.org
What can I do to help the election? (Volunteer)
Poll workers needed
Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and poll workers are the people who help make our democracy run. Poll workers are the paid staff that open and close polling locations, process voters, and process ballots, both in person and absentee. There is a nationwide poll worker shortage this year, primarily attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. Typically, older Americans are poll workers, and that’s dangerous this year for those who are at a higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19. Various states, including Michigan, are reporting shortfalls of thousands of poll workers, which can lead to polling places being closed, and voters having to wait in long lines and even be disenfranchised. Because of a shortage of poll workers in the August 2020 primarty, Here in Michigan, there is a serious shortage of election workers, who are desperately needed to make sure every vote counts. According to an article in Bridge, there were severe problems in Detroit with the August 2020 primary because of this shortage. Read more here.

If you are younger and healthy, and don’t live with someone who’s not, please consider signing up to be a poll worker. Go to MichiganVoting.org to sign up today.

Two important resources on a national level are The Poll Hero Project, which is recruiting thousands of college and high school students to be paid poll workers to help ensure election security at in-person voting sites. For more info, go to https://www.pollhero.org/. Another group, Power to the Polls, is aiming to recruit 250,000 people to work the polls. Learn more at https://www.powerthepolls.org/about.

Poll watchers needed
The MIchigan Democratic Party is recruiting and training volunteer attorneys and others to join in their efforts to make sure all Michigan voters can access a ballot (by mail or in person), cast their votes, and have their votes counted. To volunteer, click here.
Help distribute the Washtenaw County Voter Guide
Washtenaw County Democratic Party needs assistance to prepare and/or dropoff Voter Guides at targeted locations. Ballots start going out beginning September 24 – and the goal is to begin distributing the Voter Guides as early as possible. We’re aiming for the end of September. Sign up to volunteer here or email us at volunteer@washtenawdems.org, tell us what you'd like to do to help, and your Area Captain will contact you and send a specific sign-up form soon.

Join the team at Black Voters Matter
Black Voters Matter is looking for managers, organizers, communication directors, and more. Apply and share: https://bvmcapacity.bamboohr.com/jobs/  for campaign job opportunities.

Help defeat the current president with Swing Left
Swing Left’s purpose is to provide you with effective ways to help defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. You are required to input your zip code and then you provided with information on ways you can assist in races in your area.
Use Wave Michigan to vote absentee
PEG is a proud supporter of the Wave Michigan tool, which ensures equality in our government by promoting the ease and benefits of voting to friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. The Wave tool is a portal to increase voter turnout in this key battleground state in the 2020 election and help overturn the current administration.
Check out Ballot Power

Michigan has over 750 Absentee Ballot drop boxes and the number is growing fast! Find yours at ballotpower.org in just 2 clicks.

Read more
www.ballotpower.org
Participate in an Event
Friday, September 11. Urgent and Critical Election 2020 Series Kick-Off
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will headline a new six-part “Urgent and Critical” election 2020 lecture series by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan (OLLI-UM). The series kicks off with U-M Professor Edie Goldenberg, and a panel of college students, discussing “Voting During Covid-19: Nonpartisan Strategies on Campus”. All events are virtual and will parallel the UM’s Debate and Democracy Semester through December. To register and for more information on all upcoming lectures, please visit www.olli-umich.org, call (734) 998-9351. 10–11:30 am

Saturday, September 12. People Power Virtual Organization Meeting
Join PP@NWUU for a virtual organizing meeting to describe recent work for implementing the group’s Get Out the Vote plan in the Metro Detroit area and discuss ongoing efforts. RSVP here for connection information. 3 pm
Monday, September 14. Voting is Power Unleashed!
Join the Poor People’s Campaign for an evening that will bring together thousands of poor and low-income people along with their allies to share tools and teach about voter engagement, registration and protection, as well as to announce upcoming activities. Event will feature the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Forward Justice, the 43 PPC State Coordinating Committees, directly impacted people, artists, and special guests. RSVP here. 7–9 pm
Tuesday, September 15. Criminal Justice Listening Tour
Change is imminent in Washtenaw County's justice system. And the community needs to drive it. That's why, this month, four of Washtenaw County's criminal-justice leaders will be engaged in a listening tour across Washtenaw County. New West Willow Neighborhood Association, 2057 Tyler Rd, Ypsilanti. 5–7 pm

Wednesday, September, 16. In-Person Absentee Voter Registration
UUCivs, the Unitarian Universalist Civic Engagement Team, is launching a series of outdoor, voting clinics to help people register to vote or apply for absentee ballots in person. They are seeking volunteers who want to join this team, which is launching fast. For additional training or with questions please contact Joanie Parker. The first in-person clinic is at Bryant Community Center. Ann Arbor. 10 am–1 pm
Sunday, September 23. Virtual Coffee Hour with Senator Jeff Irwin
Please join State Senator Jeff Irwin to address issues impacting Washtenaw County. To receive the Zoom access code, please fill out this Google form. 6–7 pm
September 8-28. 21-Day Equity Challenge
This version of the Equity Challenge is designed to take participants through a state-level exploration of the history and impacts of racism and how it has shaped the lives of people in Michigan. Along the way, participants will be equipped with resources and tools to take action for racial equity in their work and lives. For more info, visit the United Way of Washtenaw County’s website.
Every Wednesday through October – Volunteer with Fems for Dems
Fems for Dems is supporting many candidates and will offer different ways to get involved, from phone and text banking to note writing, doing anything that the candidates want and need. RSVP on the Fems HUB; log in and select the "Sign up for volunteer opportunities" option under the navigation section (on the left side of the screen). All upcoming “Grab 'em” events are posted there, so sign up for all of the dates that are convenient. Upon RSVP, a link with more information will be sent. 5:30–8 pm

Every Friday through October – Reach for the Stars Happy Hour
Join NextGen Michigan for an awesome volunteer opportunity to do from the comfort of home using a cell phone. The Relational Voting Program allows you to contact people in your network and to engage voters and pledge them to vote in November. Virtual training provided. Register here. 4-4:45 pm
More Things to do
Action is the anecdote to despair
Register Michigan Voters (by Phone)!
StateWide Indivisible Michigan (SWIM) reports that volunteers made almost 13,000 calls and contacted almost 6000 people during the first call week in September. Let's keep up the pace! These are easy calls to unregistered Michigan voters (voters of color, younger voters, and female voters), following up on pre-paid, trackable, voter registration applications to likely Dems. Calls are made via a virtual phone bank system, and a Midwest-friendly script and training are provided!

Michigan has about 7.7 million registered voters. Let's make it 8 million!
Sign Up for Shifts with Rust Belt Rising Here (Every Tues & Thurs 6 pm, and Sat. 11 am)
Learn More Here (including a short training video and all documentation)
Register voters with The 8 Million Michigan Voter Project
This project has mailed out registration forms to Michigan voters with a SASE. Call and help other Michiganders register either online or with the form. One gentleman cried when he found out he could register because he was just released from jail and thought he would not be able to vote. Want to TEXT for the 8 Million Michigan Voter Project? Email laura.tanner2.0@gmail.com or jc@rustbeltrising.com.

Are you an aspiring digital warrior? Follow and retweet posts from A2D2, SWIM, DemCast, Michelle Pallas, Paula Mantay and all of these candidates on FB, Instagram and Twitter.
Contact your Michigan legislators about important pending legislation
Ballots cannot be counted or prepared for counting until election day; the clerks need more time to process ballots! The USPS is struggling to deliver mail in a timely way. Clerks will be adding ballot drop boxes but HP 5987 would allow two additional days for ballots to arrive. And each clerk has absentee counting boards that “balance out” precincts’ polling books by matching the name on the received ballots to the state’s list of registered voters; there have been significant issues “balancing” ballots in some precincts. According to MLive, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has asked lawmakers to pass three pending bills:
  • Senate - SB 757 would allow clerks to start processing absentee ballots prior to election day.
  • House – HB 5987 would allow mailed ballots to count if they are postmarked by election day, even if they arrive up to two days later.
  • House – HB 5991 - requires clerks to contact voters if the signature on the absentee ballot doesn’t match that registered with the state.
Let your legislators know these bills need to be passed! Find your State senator here and your State representative here.
Tell Congress to protect the Census
The next stimulus package must include provisions that the Bureau has asked for to extend the data delivery deadlines and deliver necessary funding to complete counting activities. Tell Congress to protect the Census in the next stimulus bill.
Voting Resources
Make sure that you are registered to vote
The League of Women Voters of Dearborn-Dearborn Heights has excellent information on registering to vote. Go to SOS Michigan Voter Information Center for specifics.
  • Register online or by mail through Monday, October 19.
  • Register in person at your city or township office beginning October 20. You can register to vote until 8 pm the day of the election.
Voters can now print and submit a paper application for an absentee ballot for the November 3rd general election. You can also go online and request an application at mi.gov/vote.
ACLU Resources – Your Rights, Your Vote
The ACLU is rich in resources regarding voting rights. Click here for some important information on Voting Rights from their webpage:
  • If the polls close while you’re in line, stay in line. You can still vote.
  • Under federal law, you have the right to receive help at the polls if you are a voter with a disability or have difficulty reading or writing English.
  • If an election worker can’t find your name on the list of registered voters, you’re still entitled to a provisional ballot.
  • If you experience voter intimidation (a federal crime), such as aggressive questioning about your citizenship status, criminal record or voting record, you can report it to the nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.
Only 22 days left to complete the census
The total national response rate as of September 7 is 96,800,000 households, with 65.5%, have self-reporting. Michigan remains 5th amongst the states in self-reporting at 70.4%. Washtenaw County remains in 12th place with participation at 76.2%. The majority of Michiganders who have completed the census have filled it out online, by phone or by mail.

In Michigan, non-response work began in early August after being delayed due to safety concerns around door-to-door operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the larger cities, such as Flint and Detroit, are two metro areas with lower than average response rates, but both cities are expected to hit the 50% self response rates within the next week.
 
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, along with seven other governors, wrote a letter on Aug. 18 to the Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce asking that they re-extend the national census collection and response deadline back to the original date. However, it doesn’t seem like that change will be coming. 

On a positive note, Michigan is the 1st state in the nation to hit the census milestone of matching its 2010 Census self-response rates.

Remember, completion of the census determines how much federal funding Michigan receives for public safety, health care, education, roads and infrastructure through 2030. For every person that goes uncounted, the state could lose $1,800 of federal funds each year for 10 years, according to the Council of Michigan Foundations. Michigan can also lose a seat in the House of Representatives.

People can still respond online, over the phone or by mailall without having to meet a census taker. If you do not have a computer, there are several ways that you can contact the U.S. Census Bureau for support. Customer Service Representatives are available every day from 7am to 2 am Eastern Time on the following phone lines:
  • English: (844) 330-2020
  • Spanish: (844) 468-2020
  • TDD number: (844) 467-2020
Good News
New! Ask "PEGGY" our Voting Expert!
2.1 Million Michiganders have already requested a ballot for the November 3 election. That is great news. However, lots of questions are cropping up about voting in this historic election. The PEG newsletter team has partnered up with local clerks and voting experts and researched state guidelines to address some of the questions we hear the most. Beginning next week, PEG's new team member, "PEGGY" will answer questions in each newsletter. If you have a question about voting that you would like to see addressed, please contact PEGGY at peginfo20@gmail.com.
The PEG Newsletter typically goes out each Thursday, with a repeat send on Sunday that only goes out 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. To subscribe to this free newsletter, go to our website by clicking hereTo share with your friends and networks, use the sharing buttons at the top of the email or just "forward" from your email browser.
A special thanks to our Newsletter contributors: Ellen Halter, Mieko Preston, Leslie McGraw, Lisa Kamil, Leslie Kamil, Bernie Banet, Susie Ayer, Bette Cotzin, and Chuck Newman for their help preparing our newsletters. Also, we would like to give a special shout out to Amy Balzer-Pemberton, who helped us bring PEGGY to life. Write us at equalityingovinfo@gmail.com if you would like help create our weekly newsletter. It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.