Lansing, MI — Today, the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bills 285, 303, and 304, strictly along party lines. The three bills are part of a package of 39 bills introduced by Republican senators in March.
Statement of Quentin Turner, Common Cause Michigan Policy Director
The freedom to vote and have our voices heard is fundamental to our democracy.
Having a say in our government is how we hold our leaders accountable to the people, not the special interests or big money donors that fund the politicians’ campaigns.
In the November 2020 election, an unprecedented number of Michiganders made their voice heard at the ballot box. In the face of a deadly pandemic, 5.5 million Michiganders went to the polls, the highest voter turnout in decades. More than 28,000 voters were able to register and vote on Election Day and nearly 3.5 million voters participated in absentee voting.
According to the Secretary of State, Michigan’s 2020 elections “were the most secure, successful, and accessible in state history.”
The high voter turnout in last year’s elections is proof that Michigan voters believe our voting rights are inalienable and every single voter deserves to have a say in the issues that affect our daily lives.
In fact, in 2018, Michigan voters passed democracy reform proposals that strengthened voting rights and made elections more accessible, particularly for people of color, seniors, students, and low-income voters.
Now, instead of working to make our elections more secure and accessible, Republican state senators are actively working to silence the will of the voters.
Their trio of bills would take away voting options on Election Day, limit drop box access, prevent local election officials from sharing critical voting rights information, and inject partisan politics into the election process.
There is no question that each of these bills is designed to silence the will of the people after voters turned out in record numbers on Election Day last year.
It’s part of a Republican-led and corporate-backed national wave of voter suppression happening in state legislatures in 48 states. To date, more than 300 anti-voter bills have been introduced nationwide and as of May, 14 states have enacted 22 new anti-voter laws.
Rather than build on our state’s historic achievements, state legislators are actively working to shut out people from having a say in our government and we won’t accept this assault on our democratic values.
Fair and free elections are critical to the preservation of a democracy by, for, and of the people.
Every Michigander deserves to be heard by their government, regardless of their age, race, political party, or zip code. These anti-voter bills are just another blatant attempt to put up barriers between people and their right to vote.
The people of Michigan deserve better. We won’t accept these partisan attacks on voting rights and will fight back against any attempt to roll back voting rights.
We urge the Michigan House to reject this partisan attack on Michigan voters’ constitutionally protected right to vote.