Michigan Policast for Monday, November 11, 2019In this episode:
- Segment one: State Budget – Shirkey walks away
- Segment two: The latest on Enbridge line 5
- Segment three: Michigan and the Presidential Primary
- Segment four: Vote Vets v Restoration PAC (Gary Peters v John James)
- Segment five: Election reform is working
- Interview: Interview: Jim DeLine on Ranked Choice Voting
Check out these other great Michigan progressive podcasts:
- Senate GOP leader Shirkey backs away from budget deal as hunting break looms
- Budget talks back on rocks as Senate GOP pushes to limit gov’s power
- GOP leaders offer ‘middle ground’ in budget talks; Whitmer won’t trade power
- Michigan GOP vs the statutory authority of the Governor — Policast segment 2 from 10-21-2019, 18:57 into the show
- Michigan Republicans want to rein in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget power
- GOP leaders still insist Whitmer must permanently give up executive budget powers for short-term deal
— MI Senate Democrats (@MISenDems) November 11, 2019
Senate Dem leader Ananich says House and gov were on board with deal but not Senate GOP. “Maybe the budget is done, but it’s frustrating and feel like we should all put our egos aside and make sure we get to the to the business of solving problems” #mileg #mibudget
— Jonathan Oosting (@jonathanoosting) November 7, 2019
Last 2 days @MISenate republicans tweeting like they are not the only ones holding up a solution. How about less tweeting and actually getting to the negotiating table. We were sent to lansing to solve problems not complain about them. #mileg
— Senator Curtis Hertel (@CurtisHertelJr) November 9, 2019
— Amy Chapman (@amyrchapman) November 5, 2019
- Sunken hazard: Aging oil pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac an ever-present threat to the Great Lakes (pdf)
- Enbridge denies state’s report that it could evade oil spill cleanup costs
- Environment and tribal groups call for new hazardous weather standards for Enbridge’s Line 5
- Formal request for Gov. Whitmer to a commitment to halt the transport of oil through the Straits of Mackinac when waves exceed 3.3 feet or winds are in excess of 18 mph … (Scribd document)
- Opinion | Enbridge is not working to protect Michigan waters
An oil spill in the Great Lakes is just not acceptable. The Great Lakes are priceless, so wouldn’t it be better to just shut down outdated pipelines on the lake bottom? https://t.co/jsUS3WA8Hs
— Jonathan Overpeck (@GreatLakesPeck) November 10, 2019
The construction of Enbridge Line 5 threatens the Great Lakes. We must prioritize environmental quality over corporate profits.
Here’s a terrific opinion piece in The Detroit News by the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem of Traverse City: https://t.co/Ph8BukE4tf
— Michigan Sierra Club (@michigansierra) November 8, 2019
Report Warns Enbridge Not On Hook If Line 5 Spills https://t.co/ihczl2LRiv
— Mike Brennan (@MITechNews) November 4, 2019
PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY: The Michigan Presidential Primary will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
Here’s the list of Democratic and Republican candidates that voters will see on their ballots. pic.twitter.com/vXJVCvXKgP
— Mark Cavitt (@MarkCavitt) November 8, 2019
Over and over again they promise that small donors will enter a lottery for a lunch or dinner with Trump.
Apparently there is no lottery. There is no lunch or dinner.
That’s fraud. Mail fraud. Wire fraud.
Go to jail fraud.https://t.co/tHsgyBoEIV
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) November 6, 2019
'The Job Betsy DeVos Is Doing in Public Education, I Think Is Very Very Good' says @JohnJamesMI who is backed by the DeVos fam + @RestorationPAC which seeks to eliminate @usedgov http://bit.ly/2X10etT @JohnJamesReveal http://bit.ly/2rytexD @GaryPetersClick To Tweet
Gary’s opponent is @JohnJamesMI , who is getting $1m in ads from @RestorationPAC (funded by founders of @uline ) This SuperPAC would do away with this type of funding. What will John James do when they come to collect on their ad spend? @JohnJamesReveal https://t.co/gslrxwesZZ
— Michigan Policast (@mipolicast) November 11, 2019
.@RestorationPAC funded by founder of @uline has ~$1m ad spend for @JohnJamesMI. PAC supports targeting foreign leaders, eliminating @usedgov, cutting all fed budgets 25% except for security / military. @revealjohnjames @Gary Peters http://bit.ly/33DKdMQClick To Tweet
VoteVets is up with a $750k ad buy boosting Sen. Gary Peters in Michigan.
The buy comes after Restoration PAC went up earlier this week with an ad bashing Peters. https://t.co/oOhZNnC9qF
— James Arkin (@JamesArkin) November 6, 2019
Prop 3 is working! > 2,000 #Michiganders registered to vote within 14 days of Nov 5, roughly 1/3 of those voters registering on election day were 18-21 years old. Democracy in action! @MichSOS #SameDayRegistration #VotingRights #ElectionReformClick To Tweet Prop 3 is working! > 300 #Michiganders who registered to vote within 14 days of Nov 5 election were 60yrs or older. Democracy in action! @MichSOS #SameDayRegistration #VotingRights #ElectionReform #NRAV #NoReasonAbsenteeVotingClick To Tweet The City Clerk told me he issued more absentee ballots for our city election last week than the total vote in the previous election, and we didn't even vote for mayor this time. Prop 3 made that turnout happen. @MichCurmudgeon #ElectionReform Click To Tweet
Have questions about new laws on registering to vote or voting at home? Join Secretary of State @JocelynBenson and members of the Capitol Caucus at a town hall on Michigan’s new voting rights. Stop by #Lansing’s Sexton High School Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. https://t.co/r1FlijraPC
— Michigan Department of State (@MichSoS) November 8, 2019
RCV would make MI #elections more competitive and fair by encouraging the participation of more candidates and parties, and by ensuring outcomes that more accurately reflect the will of the voters. http://bit.ly/2pYTZL3 @RankMIVote #RankedChoiceVotingClick To Tweet #Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope has come out in favor of #RankedChoiceVoting .. he estimates cost savings to the city to be ~$60,000 per primary @CityClerkSwope @JimDeLiner @RankMiVote #ElectionReformClick To Tweet #RankedChoiceVoting helps reduce the influence of $$ in #elections by enabling all voices to be heard and supported regardless of how well-funded they are. #RCV http://rankmivote.com/faqs/ @RankMIVote Click To Tweet Voting for a 3rd party candidate is a political statement when you know they're not going to win, but #RankedChoiceVoting lets you make your statement and have your vote matter @MichCurmudgeon @JimDeliner #ElectionReform #RCVClick To Tweet Without #RankedChoiceVoting someone like @RealDonaldTrump can win a primary election with only 22% of the vote @JimDeLiner @RankMiChoice @MichCurmudgeon #ElectionReformClick To Tweet 'We made a presentation to Lansing City Council on 8/5 requesting that they place #RankedChoiceVoting on a ballot .. we'd like to see the people of Lansing vote on it' #RCV @RankMiChoice @JimDeliner #ElectionReformClick To Tweet
Low voter turnout, negative campaigns, a lack of diversity among candidates, and expensive runoff elections with even lower participation rates have plagued municipal elections,” said Tousif Ahsan, civic engagement coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group.
“Ranked Choice Voting has been shown to successfully address these issues across the country and will also help ensure that candidates reach out to more voters since they can’t win with just a small plurality of votes.” Source
Walt Sorg 0:22
It’s been that kind of week in Lansing and and we’re here without a subpoena in an effort to bring some clarity to this mess. This is the Michigan Policast, a weekly update on Michigan policy and politics and the national news impacting our pleasant peninsulas, I’m Walt Sorg. We’re just a year away from the 2020 general election, and already nearly $2 million has been spent on the us senate race and Michigan. Does Gary Peters really want to outlaw hamburgers?
Christine Barry 0:47
I’m Christine Barry. State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey takes what looked to be a compromise on the state budget and pushed it through the legislative meat grinder.
Amy Kerr Hardin 0:57
I’m Amy Kerr Hardin. Enbridge is charged with peddling a lot of baloney when it comes to financial responsibility for any fuel spills in the Straits of Mackinac
Walt Sorg 1:06
And in a non-meat themed news item. New York City approves a major change at how votes are counted a change that could be coming to a ballot box near you. It’s called ranked choice voting or instant runoff elections will talk with one of the leaders in the efforts to promote the reform throughout Michigan. Let’s begin though as we do it seems like every week with the state budget that never gets resolved at 9am. on Thursday, Governor Whitmer said she thought she had a compromise that she did with the Speaker of the House. But in a matter of hours, it was back to situation normal all fouled up. compliments of Senate Republican leader Mike Shirkey. Christine, what the hell happened?
Christine Barry 1:43
Well, as you know, they sent their budget through back in the beginning when it was due like a few minutes before it was due. Governor Whitmer went through and did some line item vetoes and then she did some transfers with the State Administrative board. We’ve covered all of that. Well right now. The House and the Senate Republicans have put together some supplemental and Governor Whitmer has her own supplementals. And this is just start putting some funding where they can agree that it should go. So they would probably put some money back into Pure Michigan, they would fund those rural hospitals. They’re probably looking at funding for the autism projects that were cut. So these are all things that we agreed that we need money on the problem is the process.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirky simply won’t move forward until the governor agrees to give up some of her executive authority, the authority that she used the first time, which is to transfer funds within departments. His office told the press that Governor Whitmer was untrustworthy and should not have the authority that essentially goes with that office and the governor said she’s not willing to give away any powers of the governor’s office. The Speaker of the House, Lee Chatfield says they all have concerns but they’re trying to move forward. I mean, he sounds like he’s being less emotional and more, I don’t know, professional or diligent than Mike Shirkey is right now, just about trying to move forward and get some progress.
They talked about adding some boilerplate language to the bills, which would mean that if the legislature sent over appropriations and included the words unless otherwise provided by law, that meant that Whitmer couldn’t move anything around or the governor, whoever it is. And Whitmer said, Well, I’m willing to do that for the supplementals, but I’m not willing to restrict myself in any future thing. So ultimately, what it comes down to his Mike Shirkey walked away because he does not want her to be able to move any money around. And so we’re back at square one. It doesn’t seem to be an argument over money, you guys it seems to just be about this process, which makes me concerned that, you know, we’re just letting these egos get in the way again.
Amy Kerr Hardin 3:54
I kind of get a feeling that there might be a pinch of misogyny involved there too.
Walt Sorg 3:58
I’m not sure sure that it’s misogyny is as much as it is a lack of trust on both sides. I had breakfast with a bunch of friends who go back way many, many years and state government over the weekend. And what we’re talking about was how term limits is ended. The building of relationships between the two parties in the legislature between the legislature and the governor. People are here today and gone tomorrow, and they really don’t have an opportunity to develop bonds of trust. We said specifically, if Randy Richard bill, the former sort of majority leader was still in charge that he and Governor Whitner would be able to work this out, even though they don’t agree politically on a lot of things, but they trusted each other. And that’s because they had a long term relationship working together in the Senate. But enter Mike Shirkey, he doesn’t have that long relationship with the governor. And his spokesperson says quote, unless it has the weight of law, Governor Whitmer is proven herself to be untrustworthy. That is one hell of a statement for the governor to promise I will not do something and for the spokesperson for the Majority Leader to basically say she’s lying.
Christine Barry 5:00
I don’t think it’s justified. I know that they based it on, you know, her going out on the, you know, and she campaign she told the autism alliance that she was an ally for them, and then that money was vetoed. You know, it’s a bigger story than that. It’s not that simple. And it doesn’t make her untrustworthy.
Amy Kerr Hardin 5:18
She’s just using the political leverage of this to bring them back to the table and Shirkey’s being very stubborn about it.
Walt Sorg 5:24
Yeah. Well, part of it is to that everybody in the legislature, nobody’s been around that long. And for 16 years, we’ve had governors who really didn’t know how to use all the levers of power. You have to go back to john Engler 16 years ago, 17 years ago, who knew how to do that they hadn’t seen him operate. Gretchen Whitmer did, she understood how Engler was able to fully use the powers of the governor’s office, and the legislature just doesn’t like it.
Christine Barry 5:49
And that is why we still don’t have a deal. And so I think, you know, the GOP is really good they’ve got there in terms of like social media. They keep putting out these messages of Whitmer’s veto did this and it did that. And here she is promising that she was an ally. I mean, they’re just constantly hammering away and people really should fight back against that because that messaging is just disingenuous. It just is not. It’s not true to what’s happening.
Walt Sorg 6:18
It’s also i don’t think a winning message for them, just given the optics of the governor who’s known statewide and pretty well liked statewide, as opposed to the legislature who most people don’t know nobody knows who Mike Shirkey is outside of his district, and even within his district, a lot of people don’t know who he is. And as a result of it they don’t know him, they’re not going to necessarily gravitate to his message.
Amy Kerr Hardin 6:39
Right now. The rank and file voter is not feeling the pinch of the budget problems. There are smaller groups like the autism group and so forth, are probably beginning to feel it or will feel it very soon.
Christine Barry 6:50
This reminds me of something that Ed Schultz once said, I used to listen to this podcast all the time. It was a this particular show. There was he was talking about healthcare and he had some senators on and they said they didn’t have the vote. And then it was this constant talk about chuck grassley and what chuck grassley was holding up. And so Eddie went on this rant. And at the end of it, he said, Who the hell is Chuck Grassley? And now obviously, we all know who chuck grassley was, but the spirit of that is .. That’s how I feel about Mike Shirkey, Who the hell are you to hold all of this up? You know, you’re just one dude in a gerrymandered legislature.
Walt Sorg 7:36
The budget isn’t Gretchen was only headache right now. She also has to deal with the continued fighting over the Enbridge line five pipeline along with the Attorney General, in particular, who pays the bill for if or maybe when there is a spill that threatens the upper Great Lakes. Amy How does this look from your studio, which is just down the road from Grand Traverse Bay?
Amy Kerr Hardin 7:56
Yep, yeah. Michigan’s tireless Attorney General Dana Nessel commissioned a risk assessment analysis from the American risk management resources group. And they found that there the $2 billion that Enbridge has promised for the cleanup may not be legally enforceable. Nestle reports that Michigan residents may be on the hook for over a billion and unfunded liability. The analysis reveals that both the original 1953 lease agreement and the 2018 contract that Governor Snyder signed promising the money were with a subsidiary of Enbridge company, and the parent company is not contractually obligated to the terms of the contract, of course encourages denying this. That’s no surprise. And then Also of note is the oil this oil company had more than 800 spills in the North American North America between 1999 and 2010, with 6.8 million gallons being spilled,
Walt Sorg 8:57
Including the Kalamazoo River
Amy Kerr Hardin 8:59
Kalamazoo River and in 1999, they spilled up in crystal falls. And the way that they clean that spill up was they just lit it on fire. Just last week, 14 environmental groups sent a letter to Governor Whitmer, urging her to shut down line five before hazardous weather conditions make it impossible to do a cleanup. We’ll have a link to that letter in the show notes
Walt Sorg 9:21
Enbridge is continuing to claim that yes, we are liable for it. But as I read between the lines in the letter they sent to the governor, sort of like the situation you’ve got right now with the budget and Shirkey you’ve got to kind of trust them. And just like Senator Shirkey, not trusting the governor. I don’t think anybody trusts Enbridge.
Christine Barry 9:40
I sure don’t. Well, Enbridge does have a track record of covering things up. So you think there’s a reason to not trust them. Just if you look at the state of line five through the straits, if you just limited to that and you don’t bring anything else into it. They’ve you know, not disclosed problems that were there. They haven’t. If I recall correctly, they didn’t even do the maintenance they were supposed to do on the schedule. They were supposed to do it. So they have a track record. There’s a reason to not trust them.
Walt Sorg 10:15
Okay ladies pop quiz who is Wayne mess him and why might you vote be voting for him next spring?
Amy Kerr Hardin 10:21
Oh, he’s gotta be a presidential candidate.
Walt Sorg 10:24
no he doesn’t have to be but he is. We’ve had a really weird system for our presidential primary in Michigan. The law basically says that the Secretary of State has to drop a list of everybody she thinks may be running for president based on their own statements, or statements by the media or statements by their political parties and put them all on the ballot and unless they withdraw by December 13. They are on the ballot in Michigan next spring for our presidential primary. As a result, we have 22 people to choose from. We’re going to have 18 democrats including Michael Bloomberg. Who so far is only kind of sort of maybe talking about it. And on the Republican side, we’ve got four candidates, we’re actually going to have a primary on the Republican side, and see just how well the Trump folks are when they have the opportunity to vote for marks and for Joe Walsh, or Bill Weld as well. It’s a weird system.
Christine Barry 11:18
I saw this article a few weeks ago about how even evangelicals vote over time and how even though they’re decreasing as part of the overall population, their voting percentage stays the same. And I would love to see how that if that plays out again in a year where there’s actually a primary,
Walt Sorg 11:38
I’m wondering if it’s going to force Donald Trump to campaign in Michigan, because this is going to be one of the few primaries where he actually has opposition that appears on the ballot and there actually is an opportunity for people to vote against it.
Christine Barry 11:49
Does that come down to candidates like john James, who might be like, don’t come and help me? Does it, do anything to the down ticket races where they might not want him to come?
Amy Kerr Hardin 12:01
Yeah, he might be toxic by that time. I mean, he’s already toxic in some precincts and so forth. But yeah, it could get much worse with the impeachment going on
Walt Sorg 12:10
Has Donald Trump ever really given a damn though about what other candidates want? Isn’t it always all about him?
Christine Barry 12:15
That’s true. Yeah. But it’s fun to watch the people around him squirm because they know what’s happening.
Walt Sorg 12:27
Other political notes going around right now. We’re still a year away from the election. In fact, we came up on the one year mark last week. political action committees, though on both sides are already spending a bundle of money of the US Senate campaign here in Michigan, because I think republicans think this is one of the few seats they’ve got a shot at picking up.
Christine Barry 12:45
So that’s crazy. I was checking out the numbers. So vote vets has just spent $750,000 to help boost Gary Peters and this is in response to roughly a million dollars spent By the Restoration PAC to boost john James. Now, the restoration pac. I don’t know if you know these guys, but they’re they’re ugly. I mean, they’re the things that they want. They want candidates who support targeting of foreign leaders, eliminating Department of Ed, I mean, it’s not a good PAC and it’s almost entirely funded by that guy who founded the Uline company. You know, that company that makes those shipping products Dick Uihlein, so it’s kind of a gross pack, but they’re all in for john James. You know, I can see why they think he’s an attractive candidate. He did outraise Gary Peters last quarter. Although Gary Peters still has more money. Now vote vets came back with like I said like $750,000 ad campaign, they’re, I think the most progressive Veterans Organization out there Yeah, so close to $2 million already spent on this campaign.
Walt Sorg 13:53
And I find the the ads that they’re running against Peters just disgusting because they’re basically taking the green new deal which Peters partially supports but not completely, making it seem like he supports it completely and then totally misrepresented the green do deal by asking quote, is it the new 1.4 million fewer jobs you support? Or the part where we abolish gasoline cars or airplanes or red meat? All of which is a crock of shit.
Christine Barry 14:18
Yeah, yeah, none of that is true. And, you know, in fact, I’ll link to our podcast where we talked about the green new deal is the green New Deal actually has some really good things in there that even conservatives would like, it’s an easy target to go after. But then they still have to lie about it. They lie about Gary Peters too. So but that’s typical for
Amy Kerr Hardin 14:39
green jobs, some wind and solar chaps are really taking off as opposed to call obviously. So the loss of jobs is just a BS argument.
Walt Sorg 14:50
Yeah, and the loss of red meat to we’re going to shut down McDonald’s, they’re probably going to come claim now that Burger King with their new veggie burgers is a part of a left wing conspiracy to And farming or something so stupid. Yep, so stupid. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, is having a little fun with john James. They’ve got a new website, john James revealed calm, which is pretty much what the name suggests. It’s the place where all the information you ever wanted for the candidate who says he’s 2,000%. Behind Donald Trump.
Amy Kerr Hardin 15:25
One of the fundraising gimmicks being used by most campaigns is offering a chance to share a meal, attend a debate or do something fun with the candidate. All you need is to make a contribution to the campaign and your name goes into the drawing. the Trump campaign has a new twist on the idea. They take the money but apparently the promise VIP prize never happens. Yeah, I’ve been seeing online like pizza with pizza and grab a beer with Warren. So the Trump campaigns been doing this for two years teasing their contributors with this, but so far, there’s just been No sign of them doing anything with it. had they done something had they done, you know, pulled a name out of a hat and had this lunch with with a contributor, it would have been become a photo app. I mean, as a campaign manager, I know that you’re gonna, you know, bring in the cameras and so forth and then show how he’s relating to the common man.
Walt Sorg 16:19
This is the same man Of course, you just got fined $2 million for having a charity that didn’t give money to charity.
Christine Barry 16:25
So this guy when you lose,
Walt Sorg 16:28
it’s terrible. It’s amazing. Meanwhile, they the Democratic National Committee is having a contest where you definitely will have the opportunity for the prize. It’s a drawing to be sent out to San Francisco to get together with Barack Obama. If you want to enter we’ll put a link to it on the website. The best one I saw though, was people to judge is doing one where you can go to a Notre Dame football game with him tailgate and then go to the game.
Christine Barry 16:51
I’d like that.
One of the results from last Tuesday’s were Round of local elections in Michigan. proposal three is having an impact. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson reports that within 14 days of the November 5 election more than 2000 Michiganders registered to vote and were eligible to participate, more than 1000 of these registrations took place on election day itself. It’s amazing. young voters took particular advantage of the new registration opportunities. about one third of those registering on election day were 18 to 21 years old and more than half or 30 years old or younger. And this was true both voters registering on election day and within the 14 day period, voters of all ages took advantage of the new opportunities to vote however, as more than 300 voters age 60 or older registered to vote, and with no reason absentee voting now the law of the land, many jurisdictions had record turnouts for what are usually very low turnout elections.
Walt Sorg 17:54
One anecdote from the election. I work as an election judge in Lansing and have for many, many years The city clerk told me that he issued more absentee ballots for our city election last week than the total vote in the previous city election. And what made it more amazing was we didn’t even ever race for Mayor this time, it was just city council races, there was nothing else on the ballot. So the turnout is up, even though it was a very low profile election. And that’s I think, mostly because of proposal three, props to the people who made that happen. It’s not only interesting, it’s encouraging to see people interested in elections that you tend to think people don’t care about. It’s actually Well, they do seem to care about it. If you lower the barriers enough to where there’s not something in their way. They do care about it enough to participate.
Also last Tuesday, Democrat Andy Bashir was narrowly elected the governor of Kentucky topping Governor Matt Bevins, but because of votes for third party candidates Bashir, one with less than 50% of the vote. In some jurisdictions have no candidate receives 50% of the vote. There’s a runoff election between the top two candidates so that the final winner does in fact have majority support. New York City voters overwhelmingly approved a proposal last Tuesday to have instant runoff elections, also known as ranked choice voting in future city elections. With the ranked choice voting, voters rank their top five choices for an office one through five. So there’s no need for a new election. If your top choice doesn’t make the first cut, they go to your second choice, and on and on until somebody has 50% of the vote. There’s an effort underway in Michigan to get the same reform and acted by local governments and eventually statewide. One of the leaders of that drive joins us right now. Jim DeLine. J
im, thanks so much for talking with us on the podcast.
Jim DeLine 19:37
Yeah, absolutely. Well,
Walt Sorg 19:38
tell me first of all, how does ranked choice voting work? What would what would voters see in the booth? What would be different?
Jim DeLine 19:44
what’s different is instead of voting for only one candidate, if there are five running, you would say, Fred is my first choice choices. My second choice, and it would go on and on and you could you don’t have to rank it with rank choice voting, you could still vote One, if you want to rank five of the all five candidates, you can if you only want to rank your top two, it’s that way. It’s it’s relatively simple.
Walt Sorg 20:09
Okay, let’s use a practical example. We’ll go back to the 2016. A national election in Michigan you had running for president in addition to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the election that was decided by about 10,000 votes. You also had third party candidates, and as a result, Donald Trump won the state with less than 50% of the vote. Now, let’s say that we had ranked choice voting all across Michigan for that election, and we walk into the booth on election day. How would things change?
Jim DeLine 20:35
Actually, Jill Stein has come out in favor of ranked choice voting. What it would allow you to do is again, rank who you want first, and second, and third. And what a lot of people in favor of ring choice voting feel is that someone who might want to vote for Jill Stein will say, I can’t do it. She has no choice of winning, so I better vote for my other choice. With ranked choice voting, people would say, well, the hell with it. I’m voting. I’m Jill Stein is my first choice. Here’s my second and here’s my third. But then we’ll see how it plays out.
Walt Sorg 21:11
No voting for a third party candidate is basically making a political statement, you know, you’re not going to win. But with ranked choice voting, you could both make your statement by voting for the third party candidate, but also have your vote actually matter. Because once Jill Stein is out of the top two, your second choice get your vote.
Jim DeLine 21:28
That’s absolutely true. And the way ranked choice voting works in a single winner election, no one will be declared the winner until that last place, person’s votes go to their second choice. The next one gets eliminated and goes to their second choice. But as soon as somebody tops the 50% mark in popularity, they won. They’ve gotten a majority to win.
Walt Sorg 21:52
Now, where this would really be felt would be in primary elections. one that comes to mind immediately is the primary a few years ago when Rick Snyder was nominated for the first time to be the Republican candidate for governor. He only got 25% of the vote in the primary. But because it was a five way primary, that was enough,
Unknown Speaker 22:09
that’s absolutely true. And we’re seeing it on the national level four years ago with Republicans and currently with the Democrats. Without ranked choice voting someone like a Donald Trump can win the election with only 22% of the vote.
Walt Sorg 22:23
This is not totally theoretical is actually in place right now, for some local elections, including here in Michigan has been used.
Jim DeLine 22:30
Yes. Actually, it was used in Ann Arbor in 1975. It was not popular with the major parties. They got rid of it by putting together a proposal on the ballot in an off year election where few people turned out this past election. It was used in East Point.
Walt Sorg 22:51
And were there any problems with it in terms of tabulating your voters being confused?
Unknown Speaker 22:54
I won’t say that weren’t any, Yes, there were some, the majority of the people that were polled later, though found it easy to accommodate, and it will be in place there for at least two years because of an agreement with the Department of Justice. It was not used for the mayor race. It was only used for city council race.
Walt Sorg 23:12
Now you are in the verge of having it enacted in the city of Lansing, which even though it’s not the largest city in Michigan, it’s certainly one of the two or three most visible and could have a tremendous impact and how this is accepted statewide.
Unknown Speaker 23:23
I would like to think we’re on the verge. That may or may not be true. We made a presentation to City Council on August 5, and we’re requesting that it become a ballot issue placed on the ballot by city council rather than by referendum. We expect them to get back at that and we would like to see it on a future Lansing ballot for the people to vote on.
Walt Sorg 23:44
What about the expense involved? Is this going to require new voting machines? New calculators?
Unknown Speaker 23:48
No. All machines now are already adaptable to ranked choice voting. The Lansing city clerk Chris Swope has come out in favor of ranked choice voting
Walt Sorg 23:49
He’s a former chair of the state clerks association too.
Jim DeLine 24:02
Yes. So he knows what he’s talking about. In fact, when you talk about cost, it’ll actually decrease costs. We know in the city of Lansing, we had an August primary to filter down the number of candidates to two, that’s not necessary with ranked choice voting, all of those candidates would make the November ballot,
Walt Sorg 24:20
and you could eliminate an election and the expense of all those things.
Unknown Speaker 24:24
Chris Swope estimates the cost savings to the city of Lansing to be about $60,000 per primary.
Walt Sorg 24:30
How long do you think it’s going to take to get this addressed as a state possible? This is something that can be used for all state elections. Can it be used for federal elections are only for state and local?
Unknown Speaker 24:41
It can be used if the state in north as I understand it, if the state incorporates it, it would be for state and local elections. With with our organization. We’re called to rank my vote. We are a 501 c three. Our mission right now is to go around the state and educate people what is this new thing? I have a Facebook friend who’s actually a former reporter with the Lansing State Journal. And when I mentioned ranked choice voting, she mentioned, you know, I’m not really sure how that works. There’s got to be an education process before we become a political entity trying to be a ballot committee
Walt Sorg 25:21
sounds like what we were saying four years ago with redistricting reform, getting rid of gerrymandering, there was a lot of education that needed to be done. But once the critical mass was met on that, getting 61% of the vote happened.
Jim DeLine 25:34
We’re hoping something similar would happen with ranked choice voting.
Walt Sorg 25:37
One of the things I’ve been advocating has been going away completely from walking in elections where everything is done by you vote, basically a living room table, using vote by mail or dropping off your ballot in the drop box in a more convenient fashion. And we’ve seen that this would help facilitate ranked choice voting because it gives people more time to think who is my number two choices, my number three choice
Jim DeLine 25:57
and particularly for those people serving overseas in the military, it gives them one ballot to worry about and and not have to worry about am I going to get this ballot back to the city clerk in time to count.
Walt Sorg 26:10
Okay. Now you mentioned your C three organization, meaning you are not at this point, launching a petition drive or anything like that to enact the statewide
Jim DeLine 26:18
No we are not
Walt Sorg 26:20
Jim DeLine. Thanks so much for joining us on the podcast.
Jim DeLine 26:22
Amy Kerr Hardin 26:25
That’s a wrap for this week’s Michigan Policast, Our thanks to Jim DeLine and the ranked choice vote Popes and our thanks to Nancy Pelosi and Adam Shiff just because
Christine Barry 26:35
for background information, links, videos, tweets, memes, sonnets, and haikus maybe on this week’s subjects and also links to some of my other favorite podcasts including left of Lansing and Pod’ems Up, head on over to our website MichiganPolicast.com
Walt Sorg 26:50
and you can check us out via the email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter. And please take a moment to rate the podcast on iTunes. If we get enough five star rating We apparently qualify for Uber stock options
Amy Kerr Hardin 27:02
will be back next Monday for Christine and Walt. I’m Amy Kerr Hardin. Thanks for sticking us in your ear.
Walt Sorg 27:09
Michigan Podcast is a production of Michigan citizens for a better tomorrow.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai