Voters Not Politicians on Thursday shared a video of a petitioner misleading voters while collecting signatures for controversial petitions to tighten state laws on absentee voting and limit state departments’ emergency powers.
A Kalamazoo volunteer for the so-called “pro-democracy” nonprofit shared a video of a paid petitioner asking voters for signatures supporting petitions including Secure MI Vote, Unlock Michigan and Let MI Kids Learn.
In the video, the volunteer approaches the petitioner who gives him inaccurate information regarding the proposals, claiming that signing the petitions would support measures that would stop the spread of COVID-19.
The petitioner explained that Secure MI Vote would require two forms of proof of a valid signature before voting. In actuality, the proposal would require voters to provide a valid state ID, prevent election clerks from accepting non-government donations and end a sworn affidavit option for voters without ID.
Michigan is one of 26 states that allow citizen-led ballot initiatives to become state law. According to the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity, nonprofits that promote government transparency, Michigan doesn’t prohibit petitioners from lying about the contents of their proposals.
Nancy Wang, director of Voters Not Politicians, said the organization shared the video to raise awareness because she believes the Secure MI Vote petition is a way of suppressing voters and is not supported by the overwhelming majority of Michiganders.
“It’s an anti-democratic way to pass measures that enjoy no popular support, and that would be vetoed by the governor — but it’s that much worse when the people that are going to provide those signatures are being lied to about what they’re signing,” said Wang, whose nonprofit was behind the 2018 ballot measure to create a citizens panel to redraw legislative districts every 10 years.
Wang said the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in the nation’s history, more than 250 audits conducted after the election verified Michigan’s results.
A state Senate Oversight Committee investigation into Michigan’s 2020 election, led by Republicans, concluded there was no widespread fraud, but still recommended reform measures it claimed would make elections more secure.
Wang said she wants Secure MI Vote sponsors of the campaign to take accountability for their petitioners and stop them from lying to obtain signatures.
“This dishonest campaign is funded by the same leaders who preach integrity in our elections, and is a pattern of deception that can be found in states across the country where voter suppression is rampant and absentee voting rights are at risk,” Wang said.
This story was originally published by Bridge Michigan. Read more here: https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/voters-not-politicians-slams-secure-mi-vote-over-signature-gathering