LANSING, Mich. — The Lansing City Council has formally denounced the Secure MI Vote petition drive and is urging the public not to support it, calling it a voter suppression effort.
Councilmember Brian Jackson said his vote was a no brainier because restricting voter access in pretty much any form is wrong.
“I think our society and our government we run on elections and it’s important that access is available for everybody. So once I learned that there’s a petition going around to kind of restrict access but to do it outside of the ordinary legislative process I just would encourage people not to support that,” Jackson said.
The resolution, which passed the council unanimously, encourages the public not to sign the petition.
In a release, the council says the measure will “create barriers for senior citizens and families to participate in our democracy and unnecessarily increase cost to administer elections.”
Jamie Roe, the spokesman for Secure MI Vote, said it's a citizens initiative designed to provide greater electoral security in Michigan.
“So citizens of our state have confidence that their elections are secure that it’s easier to vote and it’s harder to cheat and that is what we’re trying to do and we’re well on our way to doing it,” Roe said.
More than 250 post-election audits and several court cases have found no evidence of significant fraud in the Michigan's 2020 election.
If the petition were to pass it would require voters to show ID before voting. If they don’t have their ID at the pooling place, they would be able to vote but would need to come back to the clerk within six days with their license or another government issued photo ID in order for their vote to be counted. The proposed ballot measure would also prohibit officials from sending out unsolicited absentee ballot applications.
Roe said they’re required to get 340,000 valid signatures of voters from across the state within a six month period. They started in early October and he tells me they’re ahead of where they thought they would be in petition gathering process, but wouldn’t share how many signatures they currently have.
Because of an unusual provision in Michigan law, if the measure gets onto the ballot, the legislature would be able to approve it with a simple majority and the governor wouldn't be able to veto it.
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