LANSING, Mich., Sept. 27, 2021 – The Michigan Board of Canvassers approved the form today for the most recent petition drive aimed at undermining the freedom to vote. The “Secure Michigan” petition, part of a nationwide effort to create barriers to voting, would eliminate options to fulfil an identification requirement for in-person voters and bar election officials from proactively sending absentee ballot applications. Michigan voters are already required to show a valid photo ID at their polling location, but the Secure MI Vote initiative would eliminate the option for voters who don’t have a photo ID to sign an affidavit affirming their identity.
“Republicans have created a voter-fraud boogeyman to justify their voter suppression efforts, and they continue to feed it with lies,” said Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), Democratic Vice-Chair of the Elections and Ethics Committee. “We already have voter ID laws that work. Anything that casts doubt on that fact only undermines faith in our election system. If we continue to let the Big Lie grind away at our institutions, strip away our freedoms and divide us as a people, we’ll end up with nothing left. Now is the time to shore up public trust in our elections, not chip away at it with a disingenuous petition drive that could disenfranchise tens of thousands of Michiganders.”
A veritable “who’s who” of proponents of the Big Lie back the petition and many believe they have no intention of letting this proposal go to a statewide vote. Petition organizers and Republican legislators could use an obscure loophole in Michigan law to have the language of a successful petition voted into law by the legislature and prevent the governor from vetoing it. A petition drive only needs 340,047 signatures to be successful – roughly 3 percent of Michigan’s population.
“Efforts like this to undermine faith in our democracy are no longer just about overturning the 2020 election,” said House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “They’re about eroding trust and laying the groundwork to overturn the next election. Republicans have spent much of the past year ignoring our taxpayer dollars in D.C. while they try to score cheap political points with these manufactured, divisive issues. This petition drive has the potential to truly damage the integrity of our elections. Voting is the most basic right in a democracy, but Republicans are hoping to use the signatures of 3 percent of Michiganders to exploit a loophole and undermine your right to vote.”