1. Voting counts: How U-M grad students answered the question ‘Did you get my ballot?’

    Mark Rivett posted October 28, 2020

    Read Full Story on Michigan Impact: This is Michigan

    It’s the first presidential election since Michigan voters approved a 2018 proposal to vote by absentee ballot without stating a reason. Add in the coronavirus pandemic, and there’s been a huge increase in ballot requests, inundating clerk’s offices as they work long hours to keep up. A lot of their time is spent answering phone calls from voters wanting to know if their ballot has been sent or received by the clerk.

    Part of the Citizen Design Interaction program, students worked with the Secretary of State’s office. As the team interviewed some of the 1,500 township and city clerks across Michigan, they kept hearing the resource challenges offices faced with extraordinarily high demand for mail-in ballots.

    Using a process pioneered by Nick Sexton and Steve Gerhart from the city of Ann Arbor, the team worked with municipal IT departments to create and pilot an automated email notification system. As clerks update information in the statewide Qualified Voter File about ballot status, emails are automatically sent to voters in those cities and townships.

    Read Full Story on Michigan Impact: This is Michigan


  2. Democracy & Debate Theme Semester: Combating Foreign Influence in the 2020 Elections

    Mark Rivett posted September 29, 2020

    Register for this Zoom Webinar Here

    Amongst the list of concerns about elections, this November is the impact of foreign influence. The scale and sophistication of Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 elections have been well documented and perhaps it’s most effective efforts centered on the use of numerous social media platforms to promote then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the expense of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and also to foment and heighten social and political divisions within the United States. Recently, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) warned Russia, China and Iran are all taking measures to influence the November elections, although using a separate set of tactics and techniques and with different goals and aims.

    Register for this Zoom Webinar Here


  3. Dressed as Captain Planet, Ann Arbor lawmaker hits campus to urge UM students to vote

    Mark Rivett posted September 25, 2020

    Read full story on mLive

    With early voting underway in the 2020 election, Captain Planet arrived at the University of Michigan on Friday, encouraging students to register and cast their ballots.

    “You have the power to vote!” the costumed superhero called out to passersby Sept. 25. “We need your help to protect the planet! Help me stop the looters and polluters!”
    Behind the green wig and full-body suit was state Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, who pointed students toward the city’s new early voting and voter registration location at the UM Museum of Art on State Street.

    Read full story on mLive


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