LANSING, Mich., Sept. 2, 2021 — Today, Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) and Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) issued a statement in support of voters’ freedom to vote amid an effort by a Republican-backed group launching a petition to disenfranchise voters.

“Every day, the Republican playbook reads more and more like it was written by a Disney villain. Republicans have effectively created a voter-fraud boogeyman to justify their voter suppression efforts, and they continue to feed it lies,” said Rep. Koleszar, Democratic vice chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee. “We already have voter ID laws that we know work, and any attempt that casts doubt on that fact only further undermines faith in our election system. Instead of bypassing the will of the voters to enact unnecessary measures that erode public trust, we should work on protecting and expanding access to the ballot box.”

The petition drive is part of a nationwide effort by Republicans and their allies to make it harder for people to vote. If this petition becomes law, tens of thousands of Michiganders could be disenfranchised. House and Senate Democrats recognize the freedom to vote as one of the most basic rights in a democracy, and they will continue fighting to protect that right.

“Nobody likes longer lines and more bureaucracy to vote. Instead of making voting more convenient, Michigan Republicans are trying to make it harder,” Sen. Irwin said. “This will lead to longer lines, more confusion, and some eligible voters — most likely seniors, the disabled, or low-wage workers — will be denied their right to vote.”

Among the voter suppression tactics by the Republican-backed group that would be included in the initiative are:

  • Removing the ability of voters to sign a sworn affidavit in the event they forgot, or don’t have, a state identification card.
  • Requiring specific and narrow forms of identification to receive an absentee ballot.
  • Preventing local and state clerks from pre-emptively sending absentee ballots to those who didn’t request them.