Ballot drive seeks to expand voting in Michigan

Posted at 11:58 AM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 11:58:16-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan ballot drive that was launched Monday would make it easier to vote, creating more than a week of early voting, letting all voters request an absentee ballot for future elections and requiring prepaid postage on return envelopes.

The proposed constitutional amendment was announced as Republicans in the battleground state circulate petitions for a veto-proof initiative they contend would improve election integrity. Democrats say, however, the earlier announced GOP-backed measure would restrict voting.

Promote the Vote, which successfully pushed a 2018 ballot measure that expanded absentee voting and authorized same-day voter registration, needs roughly 425,000 valid signatures by mid-July for the new measure announced Monday to qualify for the November ballot.

“Our goal is simple really. It's to continue building a voting system that works for everyone in Michigan,” said Khalilah Spencer, the group's president. Backers include groups such as Voters Not Politicians, which organized a voter-approved ballot drive that put redistricting in the hands of an independent commission, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

Since former President Donald Trump falsely claimed the 2020 election was stolen, some Republican-controlled states have restricted voting by mail and made other changes such as limiting when voters can cast ballots.