New Lawsuit Attacks Voter-Approved Election Reforms

Common Cause Michigan firmly stands behind the people’s decision to expand election rights in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — Last night, 11 Michigan GOP lawmakers filed a lawsuit in federal court requesting a declaratory judgment that (1) any ballot initiatives dealing with the “times, places, and manners” of elections violated the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution and (2) to invalidate two citizen-passed constitutional amendments regarding elections. Among the amendments is 2022’s Proposal 2, a voting reform ballot measure.

Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Proposal 2 last November, with nearly 60% support. The amendment has resulted in several election-related bills including:

  • Recognizing the fundamental right to vote without harassing conduct;
  • Requiring state-funded absentee-ballot drop boxes, and postage for absentee applications and ballots;
  • Providing that only election officials may conduct post-election audits; and
  • Requiring nine days of early in-person voting.

Statement of Quentin Turner, Common Cause Michigan Program Director 

“This lawsuit is a frivolous attempt to strip power from Michigan voters to amend their constitution and consolidate power in the hands of the legislature.  

The Michigan Constitution expressly provides for ballot initiatives as a way to amend the constitution. Michiganders overwhelmingly voted last November in favor of Prop. 2 because voters support protecting and expanding equal access at the ballot.

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in Moore v. Harper that the Elections Clause does not mandate unlimited power for state legislatures when it comes to setting election policy. The Supreme Court’s decision is an extraordinary defeat for power-hungry politicians who tried to stay in power by manipulating voting maps, undermining commonsense election rules, suppressing votes, and sowing chaos and doubt in democratic institutions. Yet, three months later, bad faith actors are trying this scheme again.

Let’s state facts: Our elections should be safe, secure, and free for everyone, regardless of political party. Time and again, it has been a value Michiganders uphold, and they deserve to have that value respected.”