This Week on One Detroit:
In an election year where the voting process has been under increased scrutiny, how will the votes be counted and certified? One Detroit and reporters from the Detroit Free Press have teamed up for a special one-hour episode dedicated to demystifying our state’s election process. Follow the voting process step by step, and hear from election workers and voters themselves.
Behind the Ballot Box: Detroit Election Inspectors Receive Training Ahead of 2022 Election Season
After chants to “Stop the count” corralled around the outskirts of Detroit’s Huntington Place, formerly named the TCF Center, after the 2020 presidential election, Detroit election officials have implemented more stringent protocols around how election inspectors and partisan challengers will count and verify ballots this election season.
RELATED: Detroit prepares for first statewide election after city found itself in 2020 spotlight
One Detroit Senior Producer Bill Kubota and Detroit Free Press reporter Clara Hendrickson visit an election inspector training hosted by election inspector Daniel Baxter and David Nathan, an election trainer for Detroit, for a look at what goes on behind the scenes of elections and what election workers are required to know to preserve the democratic process.
Baxter talks about the critical role election inspectors play in the process of election day, the importance of taking a nonpartisan approach to election inspecting, what election workers need to know heading into the primary, and the rise in Republicans who’ve reached out to help with the inspection process in 2022. Plus, Nathan posits whether the decisions made during the 2022 and 2024 elections will define the strength of America’s democracy.
Certifying an Election: Public Voting Accuracy Test Educates Voters on Election Process
Since allegations of voter fraud, cheating and tampering with election results spread widely following the 2020 presidential election, some city clerks in Michigan have been working harder to teach voters how the election process works. Each year, the City of Taylor, MI’s city clerks office hosts a public voting accuracy test, open to residents, to educate them about the process, but up until this year, it was rare that residents would attend.
Heading into the 2022 Michigan primary election, One Detroit teams up with Detroit Free Press reporter Clara Hendrickson to learn more about the voting accuracy test and how results are certified. Hendrickson talks with Bower and the City of Taylor’s Deputy City Clerk Sara El-Rafaai to understand how a vote goes from the voter’s ballot to an official election result. Plus, Hendrickson asks voters who attended the public accuracy test how helpful it was to learn about the voting process and the reservations they still had.
Under the microscope: Former Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton addresses election misinformation
Since the 2020 presidential election and the “Big Lie” that followed, America’s voting process has faced increasing scrutiny. Now, how are votes counted and certified as voters head into the 2022 midterm elections? And, do voters trust our nation’s democratic process? Detroit Free Press State Government and Politics Editor Emily Lawler sits down with former Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton to pull back the curtains and demystify Michigan’s voting process ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm election.
Barton talks about the process and increase of absentee voting since no-reason absentee voting passed in 2018, and she explores some of the misinformation that spread during the 2020 election. They also discuss Michigan’s new legislation that allows election clerks to pre-process absentee ballots that have been received, and what that means for the vote count. Plus, with a record turnout for midterm elections expected this season, Barton and Lawler also talk about when voters can expect to see results announced.
Absentee or In-person: Michigan voters react to key issues, races in the midterm election
Absentee voting or in-person? That’s one of the key questions on many Michigan voters’ minds heading into the 2022 midterm election season. Others include the right to reproductive freedoms, including an individual’s right to make decisions on pregnancy and abortion, and who may lead Michigan as the next governor of the state. While some voters are leaning into party lines, other voters are still undecided.
One Detroit has teamed up with the Detroit Free Press political team for an in-depth look at what voters are thinking ahead of the Nov. 8 midterms. Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau Chief Paul Egan and One Detroit senior producer Bill Kubota talk with voters from across Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties about who they’ll cast their ballots for and where they land on the key issues.
Strengthening the vote: Stephen Henderson and Nolan Finley discuss voter access, education
One in five American adults struggles to read and write at an elementary level, so when it comes to citizens’ ability to register to vote and read a ballot, how do those with low literacy skills fare in the process? One Detroit contributors Stephen Henderson and Nolan Finley take a look at a recent ProPublica article written by reporters Annie Waldman and Aliyya Swaby that explores the confusion and complexity behind America’s election process, how it impacts voters and what states can do to make the process more accessible.
RELATED: Confusion at the polls: ProPublica reporters research solutions to fixing America’s voting system
Finley and Henderson discuss the current barriers, like ballot design and proposal language, that bar some citizens from voting and the need for more accommodations that help eligible citizens cast their vote. They posit what would happen in an electronic voting system, where voters could cast their ballot directly from their phones for example, and what that could mean for voter security, a topic that’s been increasingly contentious since 2020. Plus, they discuss the importance of civic and voter education in schools and beyond.
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