MICHIGAN – In the midst of a catastrophic election in Wisconsin, Voters Not Politicians, the grassroots, nonpartisan group that ended gerrymandering in Michigan, calls on Michigan state leaders to move to a vote-by-mail system for the 2020 elections.
“We saw today in Wisconsin widespread confusion, disruption, and fear as voters were forced to endure chaos and long lines that endangered their health and their communities to exercise their fundamental right to vote,” said Nancy Wang, Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians. “No person should have to choose between exercising their constitutional right to vote and their personal safety.”
“Wisconsin lawmakers failed their voters and put communities in harm’s way,” Wang continued. “But we have the opportunity to get this right in Michigan. We call on our lawmakers to work in a bipartisan manner to move Michigan to vote by mail and to do so quickly. Voting by mail is not a new or radical idea. Other states and municipalities across the country use vote-by-mail systems with regular success. It’s time for Michigan to swiftly move to a vote-by-mail solution for the state while providing safeguards to ensure no voter is disenfranchised. During this pandemic, vote by mail will save lives.”
The State of Michigan has the third highest instance of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and confirmed cases are spreading throughout the state.
Troubling photos and videos of long lines, crowds, and empty polling locations in Wisconsin were shared widely online. Some cities had no polling locations while larger cities had dramatically reduced capacity to conduct their election. Many poll workers did not show up for fear of their personal safety, resulting in over 2,500 members of the National Guard deployed to work the polls.
“We urge leaders in Michigan to take the only responsible action – move to a vote-by-mail system as quickly as possible,” said Wang.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures: “While ‘all-mail elections’ means that every registered voter receives a ballot by mail, this does not preclude in-person voting opportunities on and/or before Election Day. For example, despite the fact that all registered voters in Colorado are mailed a ballot, voters can choose to cast a ballot at an in-person vote center during the early voting period or on Election Day (or drop off, or mail, their ballot back).”
Voters Not Politicians is a nonpartisan advocacy organization that works to strengthen democracy by engaging people across Michigan in effective citizen action. Learn more at www.votersnotpoliticians.com.