The ACLU of Michigan is the leading proponent of Promote the Vote, a proposed constitutional amendment to strengthen voting rights and modernize our election system in Michigan with no-reason absentee voting, same-day voter registration, and other important reforms.
We helped collect over 430,000 petition signatures which is more than enough to guarantee a spot on the ballot in November 2018. However, when reviewing the petitions, the Bureau of Elections refused to count any signatures that its staff perceived to be different from the digitized signatures in the state’s qualified voter file (QVF), even though QVF signatures could be decades old and voters who are signing a petition are often in a rush and have no idea that their signatures are supposed to match. Moreover, experts recognize that unless multiple handwriting samples and specialized training are provided, signature comparisons are virtually standardless, highly unreliable, and should not be used in elections.
In August 2018, the ACLU of Michigan filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court to stop the standardless signature comparison process and certify Promote the Vote for the ballot. After we filed our lawsuit, the Bureau of Elections recommended that Promote the Vote be placed on the ballot.
UPDATE: On November 6, 2018, Promote the Vote or Proposal Three based in 80 of Michigan's 83 counties.
(Promote the Vote v. Johnson; ACLU of Michigan Attorneys Sharon Dolente, Dan Korobkin, and Michael J. Steinberg; National ACLU Attorneys Julie Eberstein and Emily Zhang; Andrew Nickelhoff and Mary Ellen Gurewitz of Sachs Waldman.)