By Jamie Lyons Eddy | July 1, 2021
The national movement to suppress voting has come to our great state. Politicians want to choose their voters, but Voters Not Politicians will not stand for it.
The threat to voting access in Michigan:
In March, the Michigan Senate introduced a package of 39 bills that restrict citizens’ voting rights and harm election administration.
Three of these bills (SB 285, SB 303, and SB 304) passed the Senate on June 16, and went to the House on a fast track. On June 23, the House passed last-minute substitutes that were even worse. They would allow poll workers to force eligible voters, even those who have ID, to vote a provisional ballot if they don’t feel that the voter’s signature matches the one in the poll book. The provisional ballot would not count unless the voter returns to their clerk’s office within 6 days to prove their identity, again.
When was the last time you checked your signature that is on file with your clerk?
These bills are the most restrictive and suppressive bills in the country, and if passed, will make Michigan one of the most anti-voter states in America.
The ball is now back in the senate’s court, which may vote on the substitutes at any time.
The Governor’s Office said she would veto any anti-voter legislation that makes it to her desk, but a little known provision in the state constitution allows the legislature to enact a law if it’s presented with a petition supported with 340,047 signatures. This process enables the legislature to bypass the governor and the voters and pass laws that have the support of less than 3.5% of Michigan’s population.
In addition, the same special interests that are lobbying our legislature to pass anti-voter legislation could initiate a constitutional amendment petition to gut the expanded voting rights in Proposal 3, such as no-reason absentee voting and same day registration, which Michigan voters approved less than 3 years ago by a 67-33% margin. An anti-voter constitutional amendment would qualify for the 2022 ballot with 425,059 valid signatures and would override Proposal 3 with a simple majority vote in the general election.
If no one fights back, the public may believe that these efforts to suppress the vote are legitimate voter integrity proposals.
Our plan to protect our freedom to vote:
Voters Not Politicians is in the best position to stop these efforts to suppress the vote, and we have a multi-tiered strategy to fight back. We will not stand for any reduction in access to the ballot, and are committed to making voting even more convenient and accessible, while maintaining the security evident in the 250+ audits of the 2020 statewide election.
We have three initiatives underway. First, we are mobilizing volunteers around the state through our Dial for Democracy program to call their legislators and make direct comment when anti-voter bills are being considered in legislative committees. We have generated 485 comments to committees and more than 650 calls to legislative offices opposing anti-voter legislation. Every call and comment is recorded and counted. They are critically important, even if your representative supports pro-voter policies.
Sign up for Dial for Democracy here.
Second, we are preparing our field team for a robust ground program to spread the truth to voters, and to capture and elevate any rule-breaking, lying, or other wrongdoing that we see from those circulating petitions. We have to publicly expose these anti-voter efforts for what they are. Twenty-eight volunteers have stepped up to lead local teams as Field Coordinators, which means half of our geographic zones are covered so far.
Join their teams or sign up to lead a team here.
Third, we are elevating these issues at the local government level, on social media, and in the press. We are working in partnership with All Voting is Local to support local resolutions in support of voting access like those our volunteers supported in Washtenaw County and Troy.
Voters Not Politicians is fighting back against anti-voter policies and working to make Michigan a top-ten state for voter turnout. Fighting for democracy takes an army of volunteers, so please join your local team today.