MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Proposal 3, nicknamed 'Promote the Vote', would amend the state's constitution to change Election Day and voting procedures.
"It's a whole series of things that would make voting easier, more accessible, safeguard our elections," said Darlene Allen, Unit Chair of the League of Women Voters for Marquette and Delta County.
Proposal 3 is voter-initiated and the proposed amendment would allow for same-day voter registration. Right now, voters have to register at least 30 days in advance.
"If you don't vote your voice is not heard by the politicians and they don't have to listen to you," said Allen.
The proposal's language would amend the constitution to include automatic registration at the Secretary of State for eligible individuals when they go in for documentation like their driver's license. The proposed amendment would put no-reason absentee voting in place. If passed, it would become part of the state's constitution in 45 days.
"I think it would take some adjustment to do it," said Allen. "And I think it's important to encourage voting and make it as easy as possible."
Incumbent Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says she's concerned the proposal could open the door for voter fraud. In a statement, Johnson says,
"A person would be able to sign the affidavit to register to vote without showing identification and present a single proof of residency. The lack of identity confirmation could open the door to registration fraud that would be difficult to detect on election day."
Democratic candidate for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she believes passing Proposal 3 will make it easier for everyone to hit the polls. In a statement, Benson says,
"Voters should not have to give a reason to vote by absentee ballot and they should have the option of early voting, online registration."
Proposal 3's wording also suggests the right to a secret ballot and would require post-election auditing. Because the proposal would amend the Constitution, it would not be changed during a change of office.
In a statement from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's Communications manager, her campaign states:
"She does not believe clerks would not have sufficient time to mail out a non-forwardable mailing to confirm a voter's address as they do now. A person would be able to sign the affidavit to register to vote without showing identification and present a single proof of residency. The lack of identity confirmation could open the door to registration fraud that would be difficult to detect on Election Day."
Candidate for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's full statement reads as follows:
"We need to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat and Proposal 3 aims to do that so I will be voting for it. Michigan needs to make voting more accessible, as other states have done. Voters should not have to give a reason to vote by absentee ballot and they should have the option of early voting, online registration. Proposal 3 will also help make our elections more secure by conducting the post-elections audits I have called for in my campaign."