Making Democracy Work

Issues and Positions

Recent activities of National, State and Local LWV

OFFICIAL LEAGUE POSITIONS

LWV-US STATEMENT ON TRUMP'S "ELECTION INTEGRITY COMMISSION"

(Washington, DC) The League of Women Voters president, Chris Carson League of Women Voters issued the following statement in response to reports that President Trump will announce an election commission to investigate false claims of widespread voter fraud in American elections: "President Trump's executive action today announcing an Election Integrity Commission is an unnecessary distraction from the real work to protect against foreign hacking and interference in our electoral process. The real purpose of this effort is to justify President Trumps' false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 elections. "This effort begins with a deep credibility gap. Commission members' views on elections are well known and have been discredited as political ideologues with dangerous agendas. This is part of a wider effort to suppress the vote, keep certain politicians in power, and undermine our elections by spreading falsehoods. "Today's announcement is just another distraction from the real issues and we expect that any findings or recommendations from this Commission will only be used to make it harder for people to vote in the future. "The White House is attempting to bury this Commission at a time when the nation and Congress are consumed with this administration's own Russia scandal. "The real problems with our electoral system are the suppressive laws that prevent eligible voters from access to the ballot. False claims of voter fraud have been used to push through more restrictive voting laws including voter ID, proof of citizenship requirements and limiting or reducing early voting opportunities. "This administration is laying the groundwork to usher in widespread discrimination in our systems of voting and manipulate our democracy."

Election of the President

April 24, 2017 LWV-AAA sponsored a public meeting about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which has been proposed as a way to circumvent the Electoral College without amending the US Constitution. UM Professor Emeritus, Public Policy, John Chamberlin described the Compact, its pros and cons, and presented Instant Runoff Voting as a third possibility. See LWV-AAA in Action for a report on the meeting.

LEAGUE'S POSITION: The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the direct-popular-vote method for electing the President and Vice-President is essential to representative government. The League of Women Voters believes, therefore, that the Electoral College should be abolished. We support the use of the National Popular Vote Compact as one acceptable way to achieve the goal of the direct popular vote for election of the president until the abolition of the Electoral College is accomplished. The League also supports uniform voting qualifications and procedures for presidential elections. The League supports changes in the presidential election system + from the candidate selection process to the general election. We support efforts to provide voters with sufficient information about candidates and their positions, public policy issues and the selection process itself. The League supports action to ensure that the media, political parties, candidates, and all levels of government achieve these goals and provide that information. Statement of Position on Selection of the President, as Announced by National Board, January 1970, Revised March 1982, Updated June 2004 and Revised by the 2010 Convention:

LWV-AAA JOINed STATE-WIDE STUDY OF STATE TAXATION AND BUDGETING

A Member Meeting was held at the Unitarian Church, Feb 4, 2017 to review the LWVMI Position on State Taxation and Budgeting and to reach a consensus on our input to the state-wide update of the position. Background information

Facilitator for the meeting was Sue Smith, LWV-AAA member and chair of the study for LWV-Michigan.

LWV-AAA Studied Money in Politics

A dozen LWV-AAA members met Saturday, January 30, 2016 to review study materials and discuss our position on study questions. Our consensus was submitted to LWV-US to be incorporated into the national LWV position.

Then Sunday, January 31 LWV-AAA joined ROAD and IJC to sponsor a public forum on the topic. Rich Robinson, Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network spoke on the topic of Dark Money in Michigan elections. Rich is Michigan's premier expert on money in Michigan politics and has recently released his thoroughly researched report on the 2014 elections, Citizen's Guide 2014: Independent spenders swamped candidates

Looking At How Michigan Does Legislative Redistricting

Redistricting, in its purest sense, is a question of policy: What is the fairest way to ensure the most equal representation for Michiganders? After every 10-year census, Michigan electoral districts are re-drawn by the Michigan Legislature. The majority party, sometimes Republican and sometimes Democrat, controls the process, with predictable outcomes.

A growing number of Michigan citizens think there must be a better way. The Detroit Free Press Editorial Board, in the August 9, 2015 issue, presented the issues and identified players involved.

Should Ann Arbor local elections be non-partisan?

LWV-AAA has been working to help Ann Arbor citizens explore alternatives to their current, partisan election system for local offices.

At their July 21, 2015 meeting, the Ann Arbor City Council considered the issue, then voted 7-4 NOT to put the question of non-partisan elections on the Fall 2015 ballot.

LWV-AAA will continue to work to inform the citizens of Ann Arbor about this topic. Read LWV-AAA President Nancy Schewe's guest column for more information.