Advance Notice: Briefs

Voters Not Politicians to form effort against ‘election denier’ candidates on the Michigan ballot

By: - August 4, 2022 3:23 pm

Right-wing rally calling for a so-called “audit” of the 2020 election at the Michigan Capitol, Oct. 12, 2021 | Laina G. Stebbins

Updated, 10:58 a.m., 8/6/22

The same group that spearheaded a 2018 initiative reforming redistricting and joined a coalition that recently turned in hundreds of thousands of signatures to expand voting access in Michigan, is launching a new effort to prevent “election deniers” from getting into office.

Following Tuesday’s primary in which several candidates who have baselessly cast doubt on the validity of the 2020 election former President Donald Trump lost to President Joe Biden gained spots on the ballot in November, Voters Not Politicians (VNP) says it is creating an organization with the goal of preventing those candidates from being elected. 

“We are launching an independent expenditure committee, Voters Action Committee, powered by a nonpartisan grassroots group of 5,000 organized, highly trained volunteers,” stated a blast email sent to VNP supporters Thursday afternoon. “They are laser-focused on electing pro-voter candidates who will fight to protect the integrity of our elections and the freedom to vote in Michigan.”

The email went on to say that just as it was in 2020, “Michigan will be a “tipping point” state for control of the presidency in 2024. Yet with election deniers up and down the ballot in 2022 who are proudly running on promises to overturn the next election, there is a clear danger that this year’s midterms will set up our state for a democratic crisis.”

The email solicited contributions to support a grassroots field team “working hard to reach voters before November so they know where candidates stand when it comes to protecting — or subverting — our elections.”

The group says candidates will be selected based on their responses to a questionnaire and publicly stated positions on democracy-related issues.

“Voters Action Committee will use our proven-to-work field tactics — volunteer canvassing, texting, phones, and paid media — to maximize voter turnout before November so they can make their voices heard in this critical election,” said the email.

The creation of the Voters Action Committee is the latest effort by VNP, which won a constitutional amendment creating Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee (MICRC), which took the authority to redraw legislative districts away from the Legislature.

Correction: This story has been updated after incorrect information was provided about the type of committee being formed.

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.