Michigan voting rights advocates push for lifting language, other barriers
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Michigan lawmakers are set to consider a new Voting Rights Act for the state by next week.
Introduced in June, Senate Bills 401, 402, 403 and 404 aim to counter voter suppression, safeguard voting rights and ensure future access to the ballot.
Paula Bowman, co-president of the Michigan chapter of the League of Women Voters, noted the diminishing influence of the national Voting Rights Act and anticipated strengths in Michigan's voting protections.
"It will expand protections for voters who don't speak English as their primary language," Bowman pointed out. "It will allow them to read the ballot in a language that helps them make the best decision possible in the ballot box."
The state's version of the Voting Rights Act builds upon the 2022 Promote the Vote ballot measure. The combined efforts aim to provide voters with protections, irrespective of their race, physical abilities or language spoken, during the 2024 elections.
Brett Edkins, managing director of policy and political affairs for the group Stand Up America, said there are a lot of extreme politicians in Michigan who have worked hard to overturn elections and throw up barriers to voting.
"Michigan's democracy remains under very real threat," Edkins contended. "But the Michigan Voting Rights Act is an opportunity to protect the freedom to vote of every eligible Michigander for years to come and ensure that Michigan is a national leader on democracy and voting rights."
The proposed Michigan Voting Rights Act is envisioned as the most comprehensive array of protections in Michigan's history, encompassing all voters, including Black, brown, new American and individuals with disabilities. It draws from best practices found in state voting rights acts throughout the country.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Advocates for affordable health care are speaking out to remind people what is at stake if the Affordable Care Act is repealed in the wake of recent s…
Roughly one in eight Nebraskans who have experienced hunger is a child. The state has a chance to help their families afford groceries, but must 'opt …
If you live in a flood prone community, soil health from nearby farmland may have something to do with it. Ag voices in Wisconsin say government-…
A Virginia group is working out ways to reforest former mines across Appalachia. The state has several hundred thousand acres of mine land, which …
When a Texas woman began her six-year journey to adopt, she hoped to affect one child's life. Felicia Lewis, an adoptive parent, is now making a …
Many parents complete their families through adoption, and November has been the month to encourage awareness, recognize those still waiting to be …
Wildlife advocates are pushing back on a bill in Congress which would remove federal wilderness protections from some Montana land. There are …
The Arizona Governor's Office of Resilience and industry leaders discussed clean energy investments in the state at Honeywell's facility in Phoenix Mo…