Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATETAKE ACTION
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATETAKE ACTION

Voting Rights & Defending Democracy

Your Voting Rights & Defending Democracy

YOUR RIGHTS

A coalition of nonpartisan organizations, including the League of Women Voters of Michigan, and election officials continuously work to ensure that everyone can make their voice heard in our democracy.  We do that by educating citizens about their voting rights, engaging citizens to be a part of the democratic process, and protecting the right of every citizen.

DEFENDING DEMOCRACY

We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate. We believe democracy works best when all eligible voters can participate.

In September, 2021, a statewide ballot proposal was introduced that will put up barriers to voting, including:

  • Mandating that voters disclose partial Social Security numbers when registering to vote
  • Restricting options for registered voters to verify their identity
  • Requiring voters applying for absentee ballots to include additional identification
  • Prohibits election officials from sending absentee applications automatically
  • Bans charitable contributions, including volunteer time, to help administer elections
  • Restricts clerks from providing absentee ballot applications on their websites

If a mere 8% of Michigan voters sign the petitions, the Legislature will be able to adopt the proposal as legislation without a vote of the people and without being subject to the Governor’s veto.

LWVMI opposes this ballot proposal and is working to educate voters about the rights they already have that guarantee safe and secure elections.

Progress Michigan, a voting rights advocacy group, released a report in October, 2021 detailing the negative impacts of this proposal.

View this easy reference guide about Michigan’s current voting laws and proposed changes.

ANTI VOTER LEGISLATION

In Spring, 2021, the Michigan Senate introduced 39 bills that would:

  • Make it harder to vote
  • Make it harder to administer elections
  • Increase the power of partisan challengers to intimidate voters
  • Eliminate non-partisan and non-profit challengers
  • Make it harder to certify the election results

LWVMI opposed almost all of these bills. LWVMI submitted testimony or opposition to many of the bills that reached the house or senate floor:

  • Explanation of the Bills
    Includes a chart that details what each bill wants to accomplish and the League’s position on each
  • SB 303 and 304:  LWVMI submitted testimony to the Michigan House on 6-22-21 that stated our opposition to these  bills that had passed the Senate and would remove the option of an affidavit if a voter doesn’t have state ID (#303).  #304 would only allow 6 days for a voter who voted by provisional ballot to come to the clerk’s office and verify his/her identity.
  • SB 284, 285, 289, 303, 304 307, and 310:  On 5-26-21, LWVMI submitted testimony to be entered into the record at the hearing of these bills that would impose limits on federal funding and prohibition of local contributions to run elections, cause a provisional ballot to be in place for an absentee voter who does not turn in the newly-required ID, eliminate the use of an identify affidavit in place of state ID when voting in person on election day, require entire text of a proposal to appear on each ballot, and eliminate an absentee ballot application link on the Secretary of State’s website
  • SB 275, 276, 288, 296, 297, 298 and 299:  Testimony to the Senate Elections and Ethics Committee was submitted on 5-19-21 wherein LWVMI opposed the bills  concerning possible intimidation and harassment of election workers and increased partisanship of, and intrusive liberties given to poll challengers.
  • SB 300, 301, 279, 290-295 and 309:  LWVMI delivered testimony on 5-12-21 opposing these bills that would ban non-partisan challengers, and would give challengers more rights than voters, and would increase harassment and intimidation.
  • SB 273, 278, 286, 311 and 334:  LWVMI President Christina Schlitt testified on 5-5-21 in front of the Senate Elections Committee concerning our opposition to these bills that would create unnecessary, expensive, and cumbersome rules for the delivery, transport and counting of absentee ballots. All the proposed rules create barriers for citizens wishing to vote by absentee ballot.
  • SB 287, 273 and 307:  Former LWVMI President Judy Karandjeff submitted testimony to the Senate Elections Committee on 4-28-21 concerning bills which will add barriers to voting: clerks will be prohibited from providing postage-paid return envelopes for absentee ballots, the number of dropboxes for absentee ballots will be reduced or eliminated, and ballots will be encumbered by the full text of ballot proposals printed on ballots.

MIS- AND DIS-INFORMATION
Fighting back against false information is critical to ensuring our elections are a fair and accurate reflection of the voters.  Information about election security in Michigan, including mis- and dis-information is available on the website of the Michigan SoS:

 

 

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