The Opportunity to Expand Voting Rights in Michigan Will Be on the Ballot This Fall

Michael Davis, executive director of Promote the Vote, speaks to supporters in Lansing, Mich., on Monday, July 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Joey Cappelletti, File)

By The 'Gander Staff

September 9, 2022

The proposed constitutional amendment would, among other things, require nine days of early in-person voting and allow residents to join a permanent list to receive absentee ballots every election.

LANSING—Voters in November will decide whether Michiganders should have expanded opportunities to vote, including through absentee and early voting, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

After the measure was briefly blocked from the ballot by two Republicans on the Board of State Canvassers, the court sided on an appeal with supporters of Promote the Vote 2022, a coalition of organizations that submitted signatures to put the proposed constitutional amendment before voters.

If approved by voters at the General Election on Nov. 8, the measure would:

  • require state-funded absentee ballot drop boxes
  • require state-funded postage for absentee ballots and applications
  • allow voters to join a permanent list to have absentee ballots sent for every election
  • allow Michigan voters to verify their identity with a signed statement or a photo ID
  • require nine days of in-person early voting—which would be new to Michigan

Khalilah Spencer, board president for Promote the Vote 2022, said in a statement following the court’s decision that the initiative “will help ensure that every Michigan voter’s voice is heard.”

Republicans oppose the measures, baselessly claiming that it would open the door to election fraud. In Michigan and elsewhere, the GOP has been pushing stricter rules on voting, and repeating Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Trump lost in Michigan by more than 154,000 votes.

Promote the Vote argued it submitted more than enough signatures to meet the 425,000-signature requirement to be certified, and called opponents’ arguments against it “frivolous.” The board (which deadlocked last time it reviewed the proposal) meets again on Friday in Lansing—this time with instructions from the state Supreme Court to approve the measure for the November ballot.

In related news…

The court ruled Thursday that reproductive freedoms should be decided at the polls on Nov. 8. That means voters—not just politicians and judges—will decide whether abortion care is protected in Michigan, too. A 1931 state law makes it a crime to perform most abortions, but the law was suspended in May—and a judge followed up by striking it down as unconstitutional. Though appeals of that decision are likely, the law would be trumped if voters approve this amendment to the state Constitution in the November General Election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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