Mason — Voters Not Politicians, the upstart organization that overhauled Michigan’s redistricting process in 2018, is now using its network of volunteers to boost a campaign to recognize new voting rights in the state constitution.
Supporters of Voters Not Politicians have gathered more than 160,000 petition signatures for Promote the Vote 2022, which aims to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall that would require nine days of early in-person voting and provide a right for voters to verify their identity with photo ID or a signed statement.
The Voters Not Politicians’ signatures will be in addition to ones collected by paid gatherers. To make the ballot, Promote the Vote 2022 has to submit 425,059 valid signatures to the Bureau of Elections by 5 p.m. Monday.
Mary Brown, 70, of Aurelius Township in southern Ingham County is among the Voters Not Politicians volunteers who’ve been circulating Promote the Vote 2022 petitions. She plans to be in Lansing in the coming days when the campaign turns in its signatures, she said.
Brown was gathering more signatures on Tuesday afternoon outside The Daily Scoop ice cream shop in downtown Mason, the county seat of Ingham County.
“We need to hold the politicians responsible for what we’re asking them to do,” Brown, a retired college professor, said when asked why she’s involved with the Promote the Vote 2022 effort.
Brown said she’s collected about 400 signatures, including taking petition sheets to her book club.
Voters Not Politicians
Voters Not Politicians launched as a grassroots organization ahead of the 2018 election in a bid to take the power to redraw legislative district lines out of the hands of lawmakers.
The group, which famously formed after a Facebook post from one of its eventual leaders, relied on volunteers to gather about 400,000 signatures, got its proposal to create a nonpartisan citizens redistricting commission on the ballot and successfully advocated for its passage in November 2018.
Since then, Voters Not Politicians has stayed involved in state politics, pushing for new disclosure requirements for the state Legislature, opposing some Republican-backed attempts to change Michigan voting laws in the wake of the 2020 election and joining the coalition backing Promote the Vote 2022.
“Our mission is to strengthen democracy in Michigan,” said Jamie Lyons-Eddy, deputy director of Voters Not Politicians. “There is no democracy without voting.”
More than 2,000 Voters Not Politicians volunteers have gathered signatures for Promote the Vote 2022, Lyons-Eddy said.
“I am very optimistic that we will get on the ballot,” she said.
This story was originally published by the Detroit News. Read more here: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2022/07/06/group-overhauled-redistricting-dives-into-election-law-fight/7815320001/