Media Contact

Dana Chicklas,

March 24, 2021

LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Michigan Senate Republicans introduced legislation that would drastically impact voting rights for all Michiganders. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) opposes the bills in this package that include voter suppression tactics designed to make it harder to vote by absentee ballot and in-person on Election day. These bills attack the guarantees that Michiganders overwhelmingly approved in 2018, when 80 of 83 counties passed a constitutional amendment that modernized our election system making it one of the most accessible in the nation. The ACLU will work with lawmakers on the policies to advance our constitutionally protected voting rights and improve the efficiency and integrity of our elections.  

The historic record-breaking votes cast in the 2020 Election shows that Michigan’s election system is working and is secure. Today’s proposed legislation includes bills that will undermine this progress by:  

  • adding a photo ID requirement for submitting an absentee ballot application;  
  • enforcing strict photo ID to vote, and removing the right for eligible Michigan voters to sign an affidavit confirming their identity at the polls; and,  
  • prohibiting pre-paid postage on absentee ballot envelopes for voters to submit their completed absentee ballot.  

Rana Elmir, acting executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, has this reaction: 
“For democracy to work for all of us, it must include us all. Throughout our history, we have fought to ensure that every eligible voter can cast their ballot and have it counted. But a handful of elected officials in Michigan and across multiple states want to take us backwards, ultimately making it harder for people to vote by creating barriers to the ballot box, especially for the elderly, Black voters and other voters of color, and rural voters. The 2020 Election was safe and secure and enabled historic voter turnout. We call on legislators to work with voters to continue to improve access to the ballot so that we can ensure our democracy continues to thrive.”