The deadline is approaching to sign petitions for a potential ballot initiative that could enshrine voter rights in the Michigan Constitution.
Voters Not Politicians, a non-partisan advocacy organization, has spent the last few months collecting signatures for “Promote the Vote 2022.” If this proposal gets on the November ballot, it could lead to a constitutional amendment which the organization says would strengthen democracy by putting political power back in the hands of citizens.
Voters Not Politicians is part of a larger coalition of organizations that are behind the Promote the Vote 2022 initiative. Voters Not Politicians is the largest volunteer effort of signature gatherers within the coalition.
Noting that jobs and family responsibilities keep many voters from getting to the polls on voting day, Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters not Politicians, said when people have increased access to drop boxes, clerks and expanded voting hours, more people will be able to go out and vote.
“We know that the more access people have, the more options we have, the more we can make our voices heard,” Wang said. “That’s what our goal should be.”
Wang said voter rights are still in need of some protection, but her group is building off of the success of the 2020 presidential election, which had a record turnout of voters.
More than 1,000 people have been out collecting signatures for Promote the Vote from all 83 counties in Michigan. Wang said some volunteers only collect five signatures from their family members, while other volunteers have collected 1,500 signatures each. She described the initiative as a “voter-led effort,” where every contribution counts.
“It’s all everyday Michiganders that are passionate about putting this on the ballot and protecting our voting rights in the Constitution,” Wang said.
Voters not Politicians previously achieved a successful anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative in 2018 to create a fair, impartial, and transparent redistricting process in Michigan, which led to the creation of the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Wang said the campaigns to end gerrymandering and to protect voting rights ensure that eligible voters aren’t prevented from casting their votes.
“That gives me a lot of hope and encouragement that even as politics are seemingly getting more polarized and more toxic on the party level, with respect to voters we’re still able to connect on a lot of issues, including voting rights that we all care about,” Wang said.
This story was originally published by Midland Daily News. Read more here: https://www.ourmidland.com/news/article/Deadline-approaches-to-sign-Promote-the-Vote-17285809.php