By Melissa Horste | May 3, 2022
The Voters Not Politicians Education Fund (Voters Ed Fund) started the year strong with a $300,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. This grant will support the Voters Ed Fund as we share the lessons learned from Michigan’s historic inaugural independent redistricting process, expand access to the ballot, empower voters, and combat misinformation and disinformation about Michigan’s election administration.
Through the Nights & Weekends Program, the Voters Ed Fund is working with local clerks across the state to expand early, in-person absentee voting, and increase the number of satellite offices and drop boxes so that way voters have more options in getting their ballot in time to be counted. In 2020, our volunteer teams worked with 17 municipalities, which resulted in more convenient voting for over 800,000 Michigan voters. In 2022, we will cement those wins and expand our program to municipalities across the state.
As we expand voting options across the state, our Voter Outreach Program will make sure that voters are aware of their voting options. In 2020, we had a very successful partnership with the City of Detroit that contributed to a historic voter turnout in the city. One key takeaway from that project was the importance of local validators to reach the hard-to-reach voter. We plan to replicate that project in communities across the state, with a focus on those that are underserved.
In 2020, we also launched our Michigan Drop Box Locator, a 100% accurate resource for voters who had understandable concerns with the reliability of the Postal Service. We are partnering with All Voting is Local to update the locator so absentee voters have that resource at their fingertips.
Without a doubt, this year will be chaotic for voters. People will proliferate, whether it is intentional or not, inaccurate, untrue and harmful information about our elections administration. The Voters Ed Fund’s Voter Action Center will be a trusted, nonpartisan source of information that can cut through election misinformation and disinformation to make sure that voters are equipped with the knowledge they need to cast their ballot.
While the MacArthur grant goes a long way to make sure we can achieve our goals, we also need help from grassroots supporters like you. Our goal is to raise $150,000 from grassroots donors to help get us over the finish line this year.
About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including advancing global climate solutions, decreasing nuclear risk, promoting local justice reform in the U.S., and reducing corruption in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program and the global 100&Change competition, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsive democracy as well as the vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.