FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from #WeVoteMI
MICHIGAN – On Thursday, the Board of State Canvassers met to discuss summary language of the “Secure MI Vote” anti-voter ballot initiative. The petition will make it harder for voters across Michigan to vote.
A coalition of pro-voter groups denounces the proposal because it will negatively impact voters and communities statewide. One of the most critical issues is the removal of voting options and placing more hurdles between people and their right to vote by absentee ballot.
“The ballot proposal before the Board of Canvassers is an attempt to deceive voters. It has one guaranteed result: it will make it harder to vote in Michigan,” said Kathi Harris, with Grand Rapids Proactive. “We need a voting system that works for all voters. We must build on the success of the 2018 and 2020 elections and continue the work of breaking down barriers to voting so that all voters have equitable access to the polls. We cannot afford to take one step backwards.”
“This ballot initiative would unjustly burden Detroit’s more than 117,000 voters with disabilities,” said Dessa Cosma, executive director of Detroit Disability Power. “We need more options for how to vote. We need more accessibility across the board. This ballot initiative would take away options that ensure the disability community’s access to the polls to make their voices heard.”
The initiative would also tie the hands of election officials by taking away their ability to seek funding, potentially ban the use of donated spaces like places of worship and schools for polling locations, or prevent them from taking steps to inform voters about our voting rights.
“Michigan’s city and township clerks rely on private funding and donated spaces to help our elections run smoothly. We rely on those things to run our elections. We need more resources, not less,” said Garland Doyle, Pontiac City Clerk. “This initiative would make it more difficult for election officials to effectively run elections and for voters to vote. This proposal will take us backwards.”
The backers of this proposal also plan to ignore voters by rushing it through the partisan legislature instead of allowing voters to decide by placing it on the ballot. Members of the pro-voter coalition pointed to the fact that the proposal is nothing more than a regressive backlash to historic voter turnout in 2020, and that backers of the proposal are doing whatever they can to make voting more difficult and silence voters.
“Voting is essential to the health of our communities,” said Brenda Owens with Oakland Forward. “Making absentee voting less accessible will impact seniors like myself and students like my grandson. Our freedom to vote is critical to ensuring our voices our heard and that our communities can thrive, and right now our freedom to vote is under attack. It’s a sad day when Michiganders must deal with policies that are designed to make it harder to vote. It doesn’t have to be this way.”