The ‘Secure MI Vote’ petition is an attempt to change voting laws, by ignoring the will of the people of Michigan and going around the checks and balances of a constitutional government.
The will of the people of Michigan was clear in the 2018 election. Nearly 67 percent voted yes on Proposal 3, which changed Michigan's Constitution to allow straight ticket voting, automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration and no excuse absentee voting. There was no doubt that the people of Michigan wanted voting to be easy. Why is the Secure MI Vote petition attempting to make it more difficult?
Not only does this petition go against the obvious will of the people, the title ‘Secure MI Vote’ suggests that our election was not secure. Here are the facts: In the 2020 presidential election more than 5.5 million Michiganders voted with more than 3.2 million using their absentee option. A bipartisan report, led by Michigan’s GOP Sen. Ed McBroom, confirmed that the election was the most successful and secure election in our state’s history. Our election is already secure. Again, why are they attempting to make voting more difficult? What are they afraid of?
Not only were the Michigan voters very clear about voting, they were clear about rigging the system. They overwhelmingly voted yes on Proposal 2, which ended gerrymandering. Gerrymandering allows politicians to choose voters by carefully drawing the districts, often to go against the will of the people. The Secure MI Vote petition does not put anything on the ballot for the voters to decide, it attempts to go around the governor’s veto.
Allowing one political party to go against the will of the people will invite the other party to do the same. We should not allow this. The first article of the state Constitution states that all political power is inherent in its people. Proposals 2 and 3 passed when the people exercised their power. What’s the purpose of this petition if it isn’t to restrict the power of the citizens?
Ironically, the ‘Secure MI Vote’ petition does not require a valid picture ID to sign it. If the petition gets almost 400,000 signatures, it will change the voting laws and your signature alone will no longer allow you to get your absentee ballot — even if you voted absentee in the last election.
How does it make sense that only 3.4 percent of the voters can make this change? This clearly goes against what we Michiganders voted for with Proposal 3 — easier voting. Does it make sense that legislation that requires more restrictive identification is pushed through without a valid ID?
More from opinion
For those who may not already know, you currently need to provide a valid picture ID when you register to vote, sign up for absentee voting, and when you vote at the poll. If you don't have an ID when you vote at a polling place, there is a process to allow your identity to be verified and your vote to be counted. In the 2020 election, that process was used 11,000 times (out of 5.5 million voters in the entire state of Michigan). That’s 0.2 percent. Our current election process works.
When you are approached by someone to sign the Secure MI Vote petition, please decline and help keep our democracy working.
Craig Cumbow is a volunteer with Voters Not Politicians, a pro democracy organization that helped to end gerrymandering in Michigan in 2018.
This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: 'Secure MI Vote' restricts the power of citizens