Promoting ballot proposal would allow 9 days of early voting, alternatives to photo ID in Michigan

LANSING, MI — A voting committee collecting signatures for a constitutional amendment aimed at protecting Michigan residents’ basic right to vote held virtual events on Monday, where several local organizations encouraged residents to support the proposal.

Proposed amendment to Michigan’s Constitution would recognize basic right to vote without harassing conduct, require nine days of early in-person voting, require military or foreign ballots to be counted if postmarked on the day ballot and give voters the right to verify their photo ID. ID or signed affidavit, among others.

The proposal, which organizers hope to put on the ballot in November, would use public funding for resources such as secure ballot boxes, mail-in ballot postage and ballot tracking.

The initiative would also preserve the power of local governments to accept funding from publicly disclosed sources. In the 2020 cycle, coronavirus concerns led private donors to distribute money directly to township and village election clerks to be spent on a wide variety of non-political election needs.

Related: Coronavirus created a ‘perfect storm’ that rained private money on Michigan’s election administration

Local poll clerks receiving private money from high-profile donors have been condemned by Republicans and would be banned from receiving such donations under the currently circulating Secure MI Vote petition initiative.

State and Detroit NCAAP chapters have opposed the Secure MI Vote petition, which needs 340,047 signatures to ban election officials from mailing mail-in ballots to every Michigan voter unless it does. be asked and tighten Michigan election laws to require voters to have ID.

“The NAACP continues to stand ready and willing to protect the right to vote at all levels of government, and we encourage all who believe in ‘freedom and justice for all’ to get involved in the Promoting the Vote 2022 campaign and to stand up and be a voice in your community,” said NAACP-MI President Yvonne White.

Promote voting is the same group behind the successful effort to pass Proposition 3 in 2018, which gave Michigan voters unreasonable absenteeism and same-day voter registration. The group said it picks up where Proposal 3 left off “taking the additional steps necessary to create a voting system that works for everyone and ensuring that voting is a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution of our state”.

Several Michigan organizations on Monday offered their support for the ballot initiative, which has already garnered signatures in communities across the state. The initiative received approval from the Board of State Solicitors in February.

“Michigan is blessed with many vibrant rural communities, but we know that when it comes to participating in our democracy, it’s not always convenient or accessible for people in rural communities,” said Bob Thompson, president of the Michigan Farmers Union. “The Promote the Vote 2022 voting initiative’s common-sense solutions would make voting more convenient for rural voters, as well as many other voters who may have difficulty getting to the polls.”

“This ballot initiative will help ensure that every vote is counted and every eligible voter can vote without harassment, intimidation or interference,” said Erin Knott of Kalamazoo, who is executive director of Equality MI. “This is important for LGBTQ+ voters, as it can be emotionally difficult for a transgender or non-binary person to vote and be challenged to identify while trying to vote. many community members face financial or legal barriers to updating documents as they transition.”

The initiative promises to ensure that Michigan’s election outcome is determined solely by the votes cast by Michigan voters by having the Council of Canvassers certify the election results, based on a tally of votes cast and by clearly establishing that the Canvassing Council is responsible for certifying the results of an election.

The Promoting Vote 2022 ballot proposal, if approved by voters, would also create a new early voting system, which would set nine in-person early voting days where voters can enter their ballot into a tabulator. The initiative would also allow voters to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to them for all future elections, without having to request one each time as long as the voter remains qualified to vote.

“A voting system that works for everyone means voters have options when they cast their ballots,” said Shelli Weisberg, policy director for the ACLU of Michigan. “Creating a true early voting system means busy working parents have more options for how and when to vote and giving our military families the time they need to return their ballots is critical to guarantee that every voter can vote and that every ballot is counted.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT MLIVE:

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