Changes to Michigan voting laws, U.S. Census to be discussed at Town Hall-style event

Why it’s important and how it works.

Those are the two main points that will be driven home at a town hall-style meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 29, regarding a number of changes to Michigan voting laws and the 2020 U.S. Census.

Presenters include Theresa Turner, president of the League of Women Voters of Mt. Pleasant Area, and former Mt. Pleasant Mayor Kathy Ling.

Turner will speak about the changes to the 2020 U.S. Census. While previous iterations of the U.S. Census relied heavily on workers walking from door-to-door, this year’s census will have an important online component. It’s an important change, and one that Ruth Helwig, secretary of the LWVMPA, wants to let voters know about.

"The 2020 census is extremely important to our community. An under-count of just a few hundred people can, over the next decade, result in hundreds of thousands of dollars less for our community," Helwig says.

"We need to let people know that this is not just for statistical purposes but actual dollars for our community."

Ling will present the recent changes to Michigan voter laws, the result of which stem from the passing of proposals 2 and 3 from the 2018 general election.

The passing of the "Voters Not Politicians" ballot initiative of Proposal 2 creates an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to re-draw districts for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives, and U.S. Congress every ten years.

The passing of Proposal 3 makes all registered voters in Michigan eligible to vote by absentee ballots. Written requests to vote this year via absentee ballot are due on Friday, Nov. 1, by 5 p.m. More information is available on the city’s website.

"All of the data presented come from our partners at the state level of the League of Women Voters," Helwig says.

"They’re making sure that leagues across the state are presenting factual, unbiased information to voters."

The Making Democracy Work Town Hall is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 p.m.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is located on the Mt. Pleasant campus of Mid Michigan College.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

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