April 4, 2022
Meet Lyn Pawloski
Thousands of volunteers collected more than 428,000 signatures in 110 days in 2018 to put Proposal 2 on the ballot. There are a handful of volunteers who stood out among the rest for the sheer number of signatures they collected. This elite squad of passionate volunteers have been aptly named the Super-Circulators. VNP volunteer Lyn Pawloski is a member of that group. During the Prop 2 Campaign, Lyn collected over 1,000 signatures.
When you ask Lyn how she collected so many signatures, she first points to the materials that she received from the campaign, which helped her explain to voters the problem with gerrymandering.
I’d be out there with my clipboard, and it was really nice to flip it over and show them the maps, and say, “You know, this isn’t right. Why is Farmington, downtown Farmington, carved out of this giant district, just this little section?” And I think part of that was being able to explain visually to people why it didn’t look right. And then talking to them about why gerrymandering was a problem.
However, what sets Lyn apart as a Super-Circulator boils down to two things: approachability and drive.
I just try to relate to people one-on-one, chit-chat with them and answer their questions. I think all of those are important. Then you have to have a certain amount of drive. You just say, “I’m going to do this today. I’m going to stand outside by the library, or the post office, and just do it.”
Lyn started her career teaching preschoolers after graduating from Wayne State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Lyn jumped into the private sector to work for a small business that handled real estate and retirement planning. As she approached retirement herself, Lyn moved over to the front desk of the Internal Medicine Department at Henry Ford Hospital. Though she has worn a number of hats professionally, Lyn never imagined that she would excel at circulating petitions.
I had never thought that I would be out there doing what I do now, talking to voters the way I do. I did not have that confidence at all. The fact that I was able to go out and collect signatures, that I was able to teach people about how they should approach voters, that is something that I, even though I had the education background, didn’t feel like I’d be able to apply it. I was working with preschoolers. They pretty much love you no matter what. Going out there and taking a risk, being able to approach people, and being able to accept when they don’t agree with me. I’m surprised at myself, and I feel a sense of accomplishment because of that.
Now that VNP is a part of the Promote the Vote 2022 coalition, Lyn along with thousands of other VNP volunteers are brushing off their clipboards and hitting the pavement in communities across the state in order to collect enough signatures by July 11th to qualify the initiative for the ballot in November. Lyn points out that the stakes are high this year.
This is critical. It’s really critical to our democracy to be able to do this, especially in light of the other petition that’s out there, the Secure MI Vote. When I read through the whole petition on Secure MI Vote, what they were trying to actually do, you realize exactly what they’re trying to do. They’re presenting in their one hundred word summary up at the top, some things that sound kind of nice, but when you dig down deeper into the petition, you realize how many rights they’re trying to take away. It’s chipping away at things, little by little. And it’s making it harder for people to vote. Harder for them to get an application. Harder for them to return it. Putting their identity at stake. I just thought, “This has to be done. We have to fight back.”
As the fight over voting rights continues to heat up in our state, Lyn says VNP’s strength is our nonpartisan approach that helps us rise above the partisan fray.
The thing I like about VNP is the fact that they are nonpartisan, and we try to present that as much as we can, whenever we are talking to people. That we’re not out there rah-rahing one party over another, but we’re just looking at democracy in general and saying, “What is the best thing for our country?”