To the editor:
Perhaps you have been asked on a downtown street or in front of the library to sign a petition called Secure MI Vote. If you’re like me, that sounds like a no brainer. Securing everyone’s right to vote is something we at the League of Women Voters take seriously. After all, it’s integral to our mission to empower voters. Our goal is for every person to have the desire, right, knowledge, and confidence to participate in our democracy.
So when asked to sign the Secure MI Vote petition, I was sure to say yes until I started asking questions. It didn’t take long before I realized the goal of the campaign is to restrict access to voting, not expand it. The ballot initiative seeks to use a loophole in the MI constitution to enact legislation without a vote of the people. Plus, it would be veto proof.
Michigan voters supported Prop 3 in 2018 by 66.8% amending the constitution to expand voting rights by making it easier to register and vote. The voters made it clear that assuring the right to vote was the tool we need to protect democracy. Since then, bills have been introduced to make election administration and oversight less equitable and to undermine existing laws that maintain election security.
The League of Women Voters wants all citizens to be aware of the misrepresentation of this petition. The Secure MI Vote initiative is meant to discourage voters. It includes restrictions on absentee voting, stricter ID laws, and puts limits on volunteer support of elections. It is designed to bring fewer people to the polls.
Wouldn’t it be great to earmark sufficient funding for elections to recruit, train, and retain workers and add equipment such as secure drop boxes and tabulators? Wouldn’t it be grand to authorize clerks to continue to mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in every election cycle? Wouldn’t it be smart to continue statewide risk-limiting audits of election results prior to state certification? (250 audits were conducted in the last election cycle due to the Prop 3 proposal that voters endorsed.)
These are just a few of the things the League of Women Voters would like to see initiated. The best possible outcome could be voter encouragement in a Secure the Right to Vote initiative. That is not what’s being proposed. That is not what we’re being asked to sign.
When the number of signatures reaches 340.047, the Legislature could enact voter suppression measures that we cannot repeal. This number reflects less than 4% of MI voters. Please be informed and don’t be fooled.
League of Women Voters