[Opinion Eric Schneidewind]
During my time as volunteer president of AARP in Michigan and nationally, I saw firsthand how passionate older Americans are about voting and preventing identity theft.
That’s why I’m so concerned about the Michigan Republican Party’s petition drive that would make it harder for all Michiganders to vote, and expose to increased threat of identity theft anyone choosing to vote by mail — a choice many older voters have found easy, secure and safe, especially in these days of the COVID pandemic.
When it comes to voting, Americans 65-74 years of age had the highest turnout rate in 2020, at 76% (compared to 51.4% for those 18-24), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Older Americans also led in what the Census calls “non-traditional voting” – absentee and early voting, often by drop box, with 77.7% of voters over age 65 voting non-traditionally, compared to 69.7% of younger voters.
The Michigan Republican petition takes aim at senior voters when it endeavors to hinder voting by absentee ballot and drop boxes. The manipulative political consultants running this effort to change our election laws claim we need to make it harder to vote to increase election security, even though an extensive examination of the 2020 election by a committee led by state Sen. Edward McBroom (R-Vulcan) showed zero evidence of any widespread security issues in absentee or drop box voting (or any other part of our current election process).
This story was originally published by the Detroit Free Press. Read more here: https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2021/09/24/republican-petition-drive-voter-suppression-senior-citizens/5826686001/