LANSING, Mich., April 14, 2021 — State Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) introduced a resolution today calling on the United States Senate to pass H.R. 1, federal legislation that would protect our democracy by removing barriers to the ballot box, taking dark money out of elections, and closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents.


“The sacred right of every American and Michigander to participate in our democracy and safely and freely cast a ballot to make their voice heard must be protected,” said Tate. “At this very moment, Republican legislatures across the country are systematically trying to take away the freedom to vote by pushing bills that disproportionately harm voters of color, young voters and voters with disabilities. We must defend our democracy.”


In Michigan, Senate Republicans have introduced a 39-bill package taking square aim at the freedom to vote. The provisions range from prohibiting the secretary of state from making absentee ballot applications available online, to banning clerks from supplying prepaid return postage for absentee ballots and imposing new requirements for ballot drop boxes, causing more deadlock, disruption and chaos in the election certification process. This package would unnecessarily add barriers to a process that is already proven to be secure and would result in discouraged participation.


H.R. 1 would protect American democracy through automatic voter registration and other steps to modernize our elections; a national guarantee of free and fair elections without voter suppression, coupled with a commitment to restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act; small donor public financing to empower ordinary Americans instead of big donors (at no cost to taxpayers) and other critical campaign finance reforms; an end to partisan gerrymandering; and a much-needed overhaul of federal ethics rules. Critically, H.R. 1 would thwart virtually every voter suppression bill currently pending in the states.


Rep. Tate’s resolution, HR 81, has been referred to the House Committee on Elections and Ethics.


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