From MI Resistance:
On Wednesday, March 24th, the Michigan GOP introduced a package of 39 bills that make it harder to cast a ballot. It’s all part of a national effort to suppress the vote and validate “the big lie” that the 2020 Presidential election was “stolen”. You can search for a full list of the bills are here: Look for Senate Bills 273-311 but here is a partial list:
- Limit drop box usage and require all absentee ballots to be delivered directly to clerks, and make it more difficult for a voter to have someone deliver their ballot for them. (SB 286 McBroom, R-Vulcan)
- Prohibit the Secretary of State from mailing absentee ballot applications or offering pre-paid postage for their return. (SB 310, Johnson)
- Prohibit prepaid postage from being provided by cities, townships or the secretary of state for absentee voter ballot return envelopes.(SB 287 Stamas, R-Midland)
- Require voters to submit a physical copy of state-issued identification with an absentee ballot application or face demotion to provisional status (SB 285 Theiss, R-Brighton)
- Require clerks to complete the vote count by noon the day after an election. This would disenfranchise any voter whose ballot hasn’t been counted by that deadline and place unnecessary hardship on populated areas. ( SB299 Zorn, R-Monroe )
- Require the Legislature to approve the spending of any federal election funds, essentially tying the hands of the secretary of state. ( SB 289, Nesbitt R-Lawton),
- Require at least one canvasser from each political party be present during the canvass at all times and require that anyone hired by a political party to assist canvassing to first be approved by the board of canvassers.(SB 297, Stamas,R-Midland)
- Reverse current law allowing voters who go to polls without ID to sign an affidavit verifying their identity and receive a regular ballot. Instead, this bill would require anyone without ID to vote a provisional ballot – and have to visit the clerk within days of the election to have their vote counted. SB303 (Theis, Zorn, Runestad)
In the meantime, Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson is working to advance legislation to increase access to voting. Benson’s Advance the Vote agenda can be found HERE, but here are a few of her points:
- Mandate ballots postmarked by Election Day and received shortly after are counted
- Establish early in-person voting
- Make Election Day a state holiday to facilitate voting and make it easier for citizens to serve as election workers
- Require absentee ballot applications be mailed to registered voters every federal election cycle
Governor Whitmer has promised to veto any legislation that would enact voter-suppression legislation but the Republicans are preparing to circumvent the Governor by mashing these bills and more together for a petition initiative sponsored by the conservative Rescue Michigan Coalition triggered by the Governor’s veto. If Republicans are able to gather more than 340,000 signatures the GOP-controlled legislature would be able to create law without Whitmer’s signature. The Senate would then adopt the legislation into law and bypass the need for the Governor’s signature.
YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED!
Voters Not Politicians (VNP) is calling for everyone to contact this targeted list of Senators and ask them to support Benson’s Advance the Vote agenda and to reject the 39-bill package.
Possible Script for calling Senators/Reps:
I am encouraging Senator/Rep. __________ to adopt the “Advance The Vote” agenda that encourages voting and reject SB273-311 that will make voting more difficult. Everyone should be encouraged and able to vote including the disabled, the disadvantaged, seniors, rural residents and working individuals regardless of where they live in Michigan.