Democrats Urge Ye...

For Immediate Release

Contact: Judy Daubenmier, 734-612-7137

Livingston County Democrats are encouraging voters to vote YES on all three proposals on the Nov. 6 ballot.

"We believe all three proposals represent solid public policy for Michigan. Proposal 1 will restore sanity to our drug policies while Proposals 2 and 3 will reinforce our fragile democracy," said Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democratic Party.

The party's executive committee endorsed the proposals last week after hearing from speakers of organizations that put the proposals on the ballot.

Proposal 1 would regulate marijuana like alcohol, allowing adults to possess and use small amounts for recreational use and imposing a 10 percent excise tax plus a 6 percent sales tax on its sale that is expected to raise about $200 million a year.

“Michigan’s policy of prohibiting marijuana has failed and results in more than 24,000 arrests for marijuana possession each year. We believe it’s time to recognize that the harmful effects of marijuana are less than those of legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco,” Daubenmier said.

States that have legalized marijuana have seen the creation of an industry and jobs for growing, processing, testing, and selling marijuana in a highly regulated market, she said. At the same time, public safety is protected by continuing to bar marijuana use for those under 21 and while driving.

Proposal 2 would amend the Michigan Constitution to create a non-partisan process for drawing legislative and congressional district lines every 10 years. Instead of lawmakers or lobbyists drawing their own district lines in secret, a panel of four Democrats, four Republicans, and five of no party would draw the lines in a public process. The result would be voting maps that will not favor one party over another, but put the interests of voters and communities first.

"Michigan has some of the most gerrymandered districts in the nation. Without a change, people's votes will continue to matter less and less, undermining participation in our democracy," Daubenmier said.

Proposal 3 would amend the Michigan Constitution by guaranteeing the right to vote a secret ballot and guaranteeing the right to vote straight party. It also would require the Secretary of State to automatically register citizens to vote when they are in a secretary of state office, allow same day voter registration, allow no-reason absentee voting, and require audits of election results.

“Voting is a sacred ritual in a democracy and widespread voter participation is crucial to a functioning democracy. Without these constitutional amendments contained in Proposals 2 and 3, our laws will be less reflective of the will of the people. We encourage voters to say yes to these proposals and strengthen our democracy,” Daubenmier said.