Non-profits seek to get ‘Promote the Vote’ proposal on general election ballot
The initiative proposes amendments to the state constitution that would make voting easier, more secure, and more accessible for all eligible voters.
LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Nineteen non-profits in Michigan are backing a voters’ rights proposal for this fall’s general election.
“At the very heart of our freedom is the right to vote,” said Yvonne White, president of NAACP-Michigan.
The Detroit Chapter of the NAACP is one of the groups pushing to get the Promote the Vote initiative on the polls in November. American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan Executive Director Loren Khogali explains the goal behind the proposal.
“The Promote the Vote 2022 ballot initiative will protect our fundamental right to vote whether you’re a Republican, whether you’re a Democrat, whether you are an independent, whether you affiliate with another party or with no party at all,” Khogali said.
The initiative needs 425,000 valid signatures to appear on the poll. Non-profits including the ACLU and Equality Michigan began campaigning for signatures Sunday. “We have a robust network of volunteers that are already on the street,” Equality Michigan Executive Director Erin Knott said. She continued, “The campaign started yesterday.”
If the proposal gets on the ballot and is passed, it would give active military members access to absentee ballots 45 days prior to election day, allowing them to return them up to 6 days after election day if they are dated and stamped prior to Nov. 8.
The proposal would also give civilians access to absentee ballots 40 days beforehand, with the ability to vote in person up to 9 days early. “This ballot initiative will add nine days of early voting,” NAACP Detroit Chapter President White said. “It will guarantee Michigan voters, particularly individuals serving in the military will have the time they need to return their ballot.”
Voters would also have the option to confirm their identity by signing an affidavit if they cannot provide a photo I.D. when registering either in person or through the mail. Voters Not Politicians Executive Director Nancy Wang says this proposal would not make voter fraud easier in any way.
Instead, she says the goal is to make voting easier for those eligible. “We’re not worried about an increase in voter fraud and we’re not concerned about past fraud because 250 audits of the 2020 election show there’s no evidence of fraud whatsoever,” Wang said.
Each group campaigning for the Promote the Vote proposal has until July 11 to get the required signatures if the proposal is to be included on November’s ballot.
If it makes it to the ballot, Michigan voters will have a chance to vote for or against the proposition on Nov. 8.
Copyright 2022 WLUC. All rights reserved.