DETROIT—Hoping to eliminate confusion at the ballot box in November, the ACLU of Michigan on Monday kicked off its "Let Me Vote 2016" campaign to provide voting-rights information to communities, organizations and individuals across the state. Campaign materials are available at www.aclumich.org/letmevote.
"Voting is the foundation of any real democracy and the most critical right we an exercise as Americans," said Michael J. Steinberg, Legal Director of the ACLU of Michigan. "However, recent years have seen a steady escalation of voter suppression tactics designed to frighten, frustrate and bewilder American voters, particularly citizens of color, the elderly, students and those enmeshed in the criminal justice system. Our 'Let Me Vote' campaign is aimed at making sure everyone has the information they need to cast their ballot this November and shape the direction of our nation."
The campaign is part of a national ACLU effort to ensure every eligible person can vote and every vote counts. The campaign includes the following tools:
- * Downloadable "Know Your Rights" card. The card includes all the information needed to vote in Michigan, including how people without photo identification may vote. Cards are available in Spanish as well as English.
- * A how-to website, Student Voting Made Easy, to show college students how to register and to help them decide whether to vote in their hometown or college town. The ACLU of Michigan developed the website, in part, to address the confusion caused by a Michigan law that requires college students from Michigan who want to vote in Michigan to have the same address on their voter registration card as on their driver's license.
- * An FAQ with essential information for those in the criminal justice system on how to register and vote, whether you have a criminal record, are currently jailed or your polling place is in a restricted area.
- * Voting rights information accessible from your smartphone. The Mobile Justice MI app--launched last year to help citizens record and report instances of police misconduct--will link to ACLU of Michigan voting-rights information to go along with info embedded on the app about what to do when dealing with law enforcement. The app is available in iOS and Android platforms.
The ACLU of Michigan and more than 20 coalition partners will be distributing 60,000 Know Your Rights cards to eligible voters throughout the state.
Voters can also call the non-partisan Election Protection Hotline--866-OUR-VOTE--to get more information about their rights or to report problems.
For more information, go to www.aclumich.org/letmevote.