With so many voting-related petitions circulating these days, why should a voter sign and support any specific one of them? It’s a good question with a simple answer.
“Promote the Vote 2022” is designed to protect and enhance our democracy. It is the most inclusive and extensive of all the petitions.
The “Promote the Vote 2022” petition is an enhancement of the original Promote the Vote proposal that was overwhelmingly passed in 2018, giving Michiganders no-excuse absentee voting. Once it has received sufficient voter signatures, it will appear on the November ballot and will propose a full nine days of early voting.
Early voting means we can take our ballot to the clerk’s office nine days before election-day-Tuesday (during regular working hours, including two weekends) and watch our ballot being counted. All those folks who work long hours and find it a challenge to vote on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. will now have more convenient options.
The petition also advocates for pre-paid postage for mail-in ballots. The lack of a stamp will no longer prevent people from voting. It also supports funding for ballot tracking and drop boxes. Voters will be able to know exactly where their ballots are and make certain they are safe and secure.
Do you know any individuals serving in the military overseas? This petition includes extra time (six days) for military ballots to be returned and counted.
Michigan already has a strict voter ID law. In fact, it’s one of the strictest laws in the nation. The “Promote the Vote 2022” petition would keep that strict ID law and write it into the state Constitution so no legislature could pass laws to change it. Affidavits would still need to be filed to vote without an ID with very strict penalties for falsifying information.
At the same time, there is little need to worry about having your vote automatically disqualified because your signature on an absentee ballot did not match what’s on your voter registration card. The petition includes a provision that says your clerk must notify you if there is any question about your signature, giving you a chance to validate it. That’s an extra measure of security.
Two other critical provisions: First, legislators would not be legally allowed to determine election outcomes. Only the voters would be able to do that. Second, political parties would not be allowed to carry out post-election audits. Only election officials would have that authority. Haven’t we had enough of politicians choosing their voters?
We are volunteers with Voters Not Politicians and, as private citizens and Michigan voters, we believe “Promote the Vote 2022” will help preserve our democracy. Come find us — or any other volunteer with the petition — when you are ready to sign.
And if you’d like to join our efforts, you can volunteer at votersnotpoliticians.com/. Scroll down and click ‘volunteer.’ We’ll be glad to have you on our team.
Mary Brown and Laura DeLind are volunteers with Voters Not Politicians, a nonpartisan organization working to strengthen democracy.
This story was originally published by Lansing State Journal here: https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/opinion/contributors/viewpoints/2022/03/30/protecting-and-enhancing-democracy-promote-vote-petition/7152294001/