A very special THANK-YOU to Kent and Ionia Dems for mobilizing with very little advance notice to drive to fight against SB-13, a bill designed to eliminate straight-party ticket voting in Michigan. Nine people from Kent County and three from Ionia county came to Lansing early Thursday morning to testify, most were able to address the committee before it was it was tabled.
In 2001, the Republican-led legislature eliminated straight-party ticket voting from our ballots. Then in 2002, Michigan voters placed a referendum on the ballot and returned the option to voters. This Republican power-grab is nothing more than another partisan trick designed to weaken Democratic turnout in elections.
Unlike smaller municipalities like Alto (where Elections committee chair Lisa Postumus Lyons lives), many places with higher voter density see long lines with every Presidential election and Gubernatorial election. In both 2008 and 2012, the City of Grand Rapids had six precincts that experienced wait times of over an hour at times throughout the day. The sole purpose of this bill is to decrease Democratic turn-out by inconveniencing voters with longer wait times at many polling places- particularly in areas located in higher population, predominantly lower income neighborhoods.
To make matters worse, Republicans are purposefully seeking circumvent the will of voters by including a $1 million appropriation in the bill. Because of the way the law is written, attaching tax dollars will effectively make the bill “referendum-proof” once signed into law. Why else would lawmakers attach funds to this bill other than to ensure that the people can not over-turn it again like they did in 2002? This is yet another example of Lansing politicians protecting their partisan ideology at the expense of representing THE PEOPLE.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to fight these draconian Republic voter suppression tactics.