voters

Joe Shlabotni

Two years ago, President Donald Trump won election despite losing the popular vote to Hilary Clinton by nearly three million votes.

That’s because of the Electoral College, a system set up in the Constitution gives votes – or electors – to each state based on population.

 

Election Day marks the finish line of a grueling, fractious and long campaign.

It started with Ted Cruz announcing his candidacy in March 2015.

Twenty months later, many Americans are expressing their exhaustion with the process.

Many people are looking wistfully to other countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, which elect their leaders in a few weeks and then move on.

Michigan State University associate professor of political science Matt Grossmann sat down with us today to talk about how the process for electing our president became so protracted.

A federal appeals court has upheld Michigan's emergency manager law.

The Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals says the law does not violate voting rights, and it does not racially discriminate. 

The court's opinion says there is no fundamental right to vote for local officials. It also says the state has a legitimate interest in fixing financially struggling local governments. 

In light of Monday's ruling, where does Michigan go from here?

School leaders challenge 'gag order' with lawsuit

Jan 28, 2016
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 

Local government leaders and school officials in Michigan are challenging a new state elections law in federal court.

The law limits how local government and education officials can talk about local ballot questions, banning them from using public funds to send informational communications about ballot questions – via mass mailings, radio, television, or recorded phone messages - 60 days before an election.

A leading U.S. Socialist says the party is connecting with young voters on issues like income inequality.

Lawrence Porter is the assistant national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party. He says socialism holds appeal for the generation s that grew up watching their country constantly at war, and that are now shouldering crushing student loan debt.

Among the campaign mailers from different candidates, some voters in Michigan received something a little different: a postcard telling them whether they voted in a previous election and which of their neighbors did or didn’t vote.

One such flyer reads:

“Because we keep track of every individual voter, when you skip an election, we worry it could become a habit – a bad habit we want you to break. We’ll be looking for you at the polls Tuesday.”

This tactic adds a sense of peer pressure to the voting process, but does it actually increase voter participation?

Political consultant Mark Grebner discusses these postcards with us. He tells us how this group knows about your voting habits, and whether you should be worried if you received a postcard like this. He also tells us about the group behind these mailers, The Michigan Voter Project.

*Listen to our conversation with Mark Grebner above.

There are plenty of issues on the minds of Michigan voters as we look to the November elections: education, college, poverty, how to spend public dollars, our economy, our quality of life. 

The Center for Michigan has been listening to what voters are saying. The result is Michigan Speaks: The Citizen's Agenda for the 2014 election. 

It's being released today.

Here to tell us what the voters are thinking about and hoping for is Phil Power, founder of the Center for Michigan. 

Listen to the full interview above.