politics

Heather Gerken, dean Yale Law School
law.yale.edu

Federalism is a decentralized system in which states play a key role. As a key feature of the nation’s democracy Heather Gerken, dean of Yale Law School visited Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. Seeking common ground during these times of political polarization Gerken focuses on “Federalism in the 21st Century” convincing conservatives and progressives that federalism is for everyone. 

Jocelyn Benson photo
Wikimedia Commons

Democrat Jocelyn Benson says she will make it easier for military and overseas voters to cast ballots if she is elected Michigan's next secretary of state.

Benson on Tuesday called for online voter registration and counting military ballots as long as they are postmarked on or before Election Day. She also wants to let service members in "hostile zones" return ballots through a secured website or fax, followed by a paper mailed ballot.

Benson says her husband tried to vote in 2012 when he was serving in Afghanistan, only to have his ballot returned as undeliverable.

Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell
Wikimedia Commons

Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell is in a Detroit-area hospital after a heart attack.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell says her husband is "alert and in good spirits, cracking jokes as usual." She says the 92-year-old had a heart attack early Monday.

Debbie Dingell says: "We'll know more later."

John Dingell, a Democrat, was in office for nearly 60 years and still remains the longest-serving member of the House or Senate in U.S. history. He didn't run for re-election in 2014, the same year that his wife was elected to his 12th District seat in southeastern Michigan.

Daniel Boothe

United States Vice President Mike Pence made a visit to Grand Rapids Wednesday to tout President Trump’s tax reform policies while paying respect to Richard DeVos.

"The truth of the matter is jobs are back, confidence is back, in a word the heartland and all of America is back and we are just getting started Michigan,” Pence said.   

Your Vote Counts button
wikipedia

The Michigan elections board has certified a voting initiative for the November ballot that would allow same-day voter registration, no-reason absentee voting and reinstate the straight-ticket voting option.

The Board of State Canvassers voted Thursday after determining Promote the Vote gathered enough signatures. It means voters will decide three ballot measures this fall.

Michigan Department of Civil Rights logo
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The state of Michigan wants to learn about the needs of deaf, blind and hearing-impaired residents.

The Department of Civil Rights launched an online survey Thursday to learn more about that population and how people get access to government, health care and other parts of civic life. The state says it's the first effort in roughly 30 years.

Annie Urasky, director of the Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing, says the survey will help create a comprehensive picture of the needs of the community.

money images
Pixabay

The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate has adopted ballot initiatives that would increase the state's minimum wage and require paid sick leave.

If the GOP-led House follows suit later Wednesday, the measures will become law and not be placed on the Michigan ballot in November. The strategy would make it easier for lawmakers to change the proposals in the postelection "lame-duck" session with simple majority votes. A group backing the minimum wage drive says the maneuver would be unconstitutional.

Voters in Kent County this November will consider a millage that would dedicated source of funding for community-based early childhood programs. On Wednesday, supporters of the “The Ready by Five Early Childhood Proposal” met in Comstock Park to kick off a campaign dedicated to convincing Kent County residents to vote ‘yes.’

Championing the effort is Grand Rapids Whitecaps owner Lew Chamberlain who also is the co-chair of the First Steps Commission.

Flags will be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of former State Senator Patricia (Patty) Birkholz. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder made the announcement Tuesday morning. Birkholz died in May after an unexpected and aggressive return of cancer.

Your Vote Counts button
wikipedia

A group backing a Michigan initiative to allow same-day voter registration and no-reason absentee voting has filed a federal lawsuit demanding the state certify the measure for November's ballot.

Promote the Vote - which includes the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan - and three voters sued Wednesday. They accuse state election officials of improperly rejecting some signatures pulled in a 500-signature sample. 

Because the first sample determined it is a "close call," a larger sample of 3,000 to 4,000 signatures was pulled.

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