LANSING, Mich.–The following statement can be attributed to Nancy Wang, Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians, the nonpartisan, grassroots group that ended gerrymandering in Michigan, on anticipated nationally-funded voter suppression legislation:
An overwhelming majority of Michiganders voted in 2018 to protect and expand access to the ballot by passing no-reason absentee voting, same-day voter registration, and other important reforms. These reforms led to more than 5.5 million people in the state voting in the presidential election – the most ever, even amidst a global pandemic.
Hundreds of local and statewide audits showed that this election was safe, secure, and accurate. Yet, our elected officials have held politically-motivated hearings and peddled lies about fraud for months. Last week, Republican leadership indicated that they will introduce bills designed to further undermine our democracy. We know that a coordinated, partisan national effort is underway to make it harder for people to vote. We will fight back to ensure special interests do not undermine voters in Michigan like they are attempting to do in Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey on March 15 appeared on the Bart Hawley Show on JTV, a local station out of Jackson, Mich., and alluded to a “comprehensive” election reform package that will soon be unveiled in the Senate. This comes as anti-voter legislation is being pushed by conservative groups nationwide. According to Fox News, Heritage Action for America, a nonprofit tied to the conservative Heritage Foundation, is investing $10 million to double down on false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
National democracy group the Voting Rights Lab is tracking anti-voter legislation across the country, including current efforts to suppress the vote in Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Arizona. A comprehensive tracker of national efforts can be found here.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in February released an Advance the Vote agenda to build on the expanded voting rights and access established through Proposal 2018-3, including lessons learned from one of the best-run elections in recent history, particularly amidst a global pandemic.
Voters Not Politicians is a grassroots, nonpartisan organization that led the charge to end gerrymandering in Michigan with 61% of the vote. Redistricting is now in the hands of an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission that will collect public feedback in a transparent process and follow strict, ranked criteria to develop final voting maps. The organization is focusing on implementation of the commission, as well as other efforts to improve Michigan’s democracy to make state government more ethical, transparent, and accountable. Learn more at www.votersnotpoliticians.com.
CONTACT: Elizabeth Battiste