The 2022 Michigan General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8. Registered voters are gearing up to decide on what is predicted to be monumental key races and statewide ballot proposals during the midterm election.
Here’s a look at some of the essential resources and voter information to help Michigan’s 7.7 million registered voters feel prepared and informed as each performs their civic duty and makes their voices heard.
Hot Button Races
One of the biggest races of Michigan’s election season is for the gubernatorial seat between incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican candidate Tudor Dixon.
From targeted television adverts to two debates, Whitmer and Dixon have clashed on several critical issues, including abortion rights and road repair. Whitmer continues to be a vocal supporter of petition-driven ballot Proposal 3, which would amend the state’s constitution to guarantee abortion rights. Dixon maintains a conservative stance against the referendum.
Additionally, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, both Democrats, are up for reelection against Republicans Matthew DePerno and Kristina Karamo, respectively.
Residents will have a chance to weigh in on their legislative representatives as Michigan’s 13th Congressional House and State Senate and House seats are also up for grabs.
Other Wayne County leadership positions will be decided, including challenges to incumbents Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Wayne County Sheriff Ralph Washington.
Michigan Statewide Ballot Proposals (1-3)
• Proposal 1: Term Limits and Financial Disclosure for Legislators and State Officers
The Michigan Chronicle strongly endorses a “yes” vote on Proposal 1. If passed by state voters, Proposal 1 would mandate that top state elected officials file annual financial disclosure reports. In addition, if successful, the proposal would require the Michigan Constitution to change its current term limits for state legislators.
The official language, as it appears on the November 2022 ballot, would require members of the legislature and the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general to file annual public financial disclosure reports after 2023. Such disclosures, according to the actual language on the ballot, would include assets, liabilities, income sources, future employment agreements, gifts, and travel reimbursements.
In addition, Proposal 1 – if passed – will place flat 12-year term limits on state lawmakers’ tenures in any combination between the House and Senate, or the right to serve the entire 12 years in either legislative body if elected by voters. Michigan state lawmakers currently can serve three terms of two years in the House and ultimately serve two terms of four years in the Senate for a total of 14 years.
A majority of “no” votes by voters would mean no change to the current length of service for House and Senate legislators. And a majority of “no” votes would mean that top state officials could continue not to file annual financial disclosure reports.
The Editorial Board believes the passage of Proposal 1 will give legislative officeholders more longevity in either the Senate or House to better forward their agendas on behalf of serving and empowering constituents.
The Editorial Board also believes that state lawmakers should be required to file annual financial disclosure reports because of the transparency it would provide to the citizens of Michigan. Idaho and Michigan are currently the only two states in the nation that do not mandate top state lawmakers to file such financial reports. It’s time for Michigan to join the other 48 states which demand financial transparency of their lawmakers – regardless of political party affiliations.
• Proposal 2: Voting Policies (Right to Vote)
Proposal 2, which the Michigan Chronicle soundly endorses voting “yes” on, proposes that the Michigan Constitution adopts nine provisions regarding state elections. Among the nine provisions include: recognizing individuals’ fundamental rights to vote without harassment or interference, assuring that military or overseas ballots are counted if postmarked by Election Day, allowing voters the right to verify their identities with photo ID or signed statement, requiring nine days of early in-person voting, and requiring that only election officials can conduct post-election audits.
The Michigan Chronicle Editorial Board feels that passing Proposal 2 would make voting more accessible to eligible voters, particularly absentee voters throughout the state. For individuals in opposition to Proposal 2, many wrongly cite that passing the proposal would weaken election security and remove integrity from the voting process. Others in opposition feel that changes to improve voting rights can be better addressed by lawmakers without adopting such rights directly into the Michigan Constitution.
While the roles of lawmakers are essential for the good of the people, it has been well documented that since the 2020 Presidential Elections, many lawmakers – mostly Republicans – have attempted or passed laws across the country, including in Michigan, to make the voting experience more difficult and restrictive for Black and Brown voters. And according to many Michigan political pundits, in the last two years, more than 40 bills have been either introduced and didn’t pass or were passed in the state to restrict certain citizens’ voting rights and harm election administration entities. And redistricting has been added to the mix, drastically diluting Black voting blocs and power in Detroit and surrounding metro municipalities with substantial minority populations.
The Michigan Chronicle believes passing Proposal 2, with its provisions adopted into the Michigan Constitution, voting rights and election integrities will be significantly strengthened and protected. In addition to Proposal 2, the Michigan Chronicle fervently endorses Proposal 1 in full support of its annual financial disclosure provisions for top state elected officials and term limit changes for legislators.
Proposal 3: Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative (RFFA)
The Michigan Chronicle Editorial Board emphatically endorses voting “yes” on Michigan Proposal 3, the “Reproduction Freedom for All” constitution-amending proposition, which will be on the November 8 General Election ballot. The Chronicle believes it is a “constitutional right” for women to have and exercise reproductive freedom and rights in Michigan.
If passed, Proposal 3 will give women the fundamental right to make decisions about “all matters” relating to pregnancy, prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care. The passage of Proposal 3 would allow the state to regulate abortions in some cases but prohibit the prosecution of individuals – medical or non-medical – for helping a pregnant woman exercise her lawfully established rights that an amended State Constitution would provide if Proposal 3 is successfully passed in November.
In addition, the passing of Proposal 3 with a majority of “yes” votes will strike down and do away with the archaic and out-of-touch 1931 abortion ban that has threatened to become law again after the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned Roe v Wade almost four months ago.
Since SCOTUS’ decision, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vowed to fight the reboot of the 1931 abortion law in Michigan vigorously by using all the tools and resources possible to protect Michigan women and their rights to reproductive health care.
“We need to clarify that under Michigan law, access to abortion is not only legal but constitutionally protected,” Whitmer said at the time in a distributed statement. “ In addition, my recent executive directive instructs all state departments and agencies not to cooperate with authorities from other states who want to prosecute women seeking legal abortion care and instructs departments to increase protections for reproductive healthcare. I will fight like hell to protect every Michigander’s right to make decisions about their own body with the advice of a medical professional they trust. I will not give in or give up for my kids, your kids, and the future of our great state.”
The Michigan Chronicle stands with Gov. Whitmer and other abortion advocacy entities to keep Michigan a “Reproductive Freedom and Rights” state, backed by a constitutional amendment that will come to fruition by voters voting “yes” on Nov. 8 and the ultimate passing of Proposal 3.
2022 Detroit Voting Options: Absentee vs. In-person
Michiganders have several quick and easy options to cast their vote during this election.
Early and in-person voting started on September 29 at your local election clerk’s office by filling out an absentee ballot. All registered voters can request an absentee ballot for any reason and vote from home. According to the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections, an estimated 1.3 million registered voters are on the permanent absent voter list.
Traditional in-person voting will be open on election day at an individual’s assigned polling location. Polls will be open Tuesday, November 8. from 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Voter registration deadlines via mail and online expired on Monday, October 24. In-person registration is still open throughout election day on November 8. You can confirm your voter registration status on Michigan’s election website.
Detroit’s ‘Early Vote Centers’ opened on Monday, October 17, with 13 satellite locations. Absentee ballots can be turned in at any of the centers or alternatively at Detroit’s seven drop box sites across the city.
Registered voters are required by law to present voter identification (i.e., driver’s license or state ID) or a signed affidavit before voting in person.