EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Voting rights, money in politics, and gerrymandering were all in the spotlight tonight as people work to stay informed.
After Michigan voters gave a big “yes” to Proposal 2 last November, significantly changing the way political lines are drawn in our state, dozens of people came together in East Lansing tonight to learn more about it and other topics in politics.
Voters Not Politicians led the town hall tonight at Michigan State University’s Snyder Hall. Their focus was to make sure different laws favor the people and not politicians.
They say there are a few key issues plaguing our government right now, a big one being transparency.
“I am particularly concerned about the campaign finance abuses that we’re facing, particularly with dark money in our elections,” said Henry Mayers, a volunteers with Voters Not Politicians.
Mayers says untraceable money is a problem facing our democracy.
“If you want to put money in our election, you need to identify yourself,” said Mayers.
David Hopkinson, another volunteer with the group, says discussions like this one are important because they give people a chance to speak their minds.
“Meetings like this give people an opportunity to meet like-minded people or even people who think differently, but are concerned about the same issues,” said Hopkinson.
The main focus of tonight’s meeting was to help people understand the ending of gerrymandering in Michigan and how they can get involved in the process.
“We’re going around the state to make sure that voters are aware that this amendment passed, letting them know what’s in the amendment,” said Amelia Quilon, the co-founder of Voters Not Politicians.
Gerrymandering is when politicians draw district lines to favor one political party over another, but now that it’s no longer legal in Michigan, Quilon is looking for everyday people to serve on a committee to re-draw those district lines.
“It’s basically just a way for citizens to be involved in the process, it’s going to be very open and transparent,” said Quilon.
She says it’s crucial for people to apply to create a better Michigan in the long run.
“The commission is going to be the most successful and we’re going to get the best maps that really represent Michigan, if the actual people of Michigan participate,” said Quilon.
If you’re interested in serving on this commission or would like to learn more about it, head over to Seen on 6.