Sen. Dave Robertson (R-Grand Blanc Township) is the chairman of the Senate Elections and Government Reform Committee. You would think that a man in that position would be working night and day to figure out how to make voting as easy as possible so that we would have more Michiganders participating in the democracy that is the bedrock of our country and our society.
You would be wrong. In fact, you would be very, VERY wrong.
In discussing his opposition to a bill allowing “no-excuse” absentee voting, Robertson recently said, “I believe voting should not be effortless.” The “no-excuse” absentee voting legislation is actually a Republican bill that is sponsored by Lisa Lyons, the chair of the House Elections Committee.
State Sen. David Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, wants to prohibit clerks from opening their offices on weekends in the four weeks leading up to elections to hand out, process and accept absentee ballots.
He also wants the main office for local clerks, rather than satellite offices, to be the only place where absentee ballots can be processed. Currently, thousands of people vote by absentee ballot in the days and weekends leading up to the elections. And big cities like Detroit and Lansing offer satellite offices for people who can’t make it to the main clerk’s office to vote.
The bill also makes it more difficult for a first-time voter to become eligible to vote if they register to vote by mail, forbids municipal clerks from deputizing others to check the identification of first-time voters trying to vote absentee, allows poll challengers to challenge a person’s eligibility to vote up to 45 days before Election Day (currently this can only happen on Election Day), and extends the prohibition of election materials with 100 feet of polling places to 45 days before the election.
If you think Republicans are interested in democracy – REAL democracy where every citizen gets a vote and voting is not restricted – you are sorely wrong. Most Republicans, like Sen. Robertson, want it to be as hard as possible to vote, they want voting to take as long as possible, and they want to make the entire process as onerous and inconvenient as possible. This, they know, will depress voter turnout which helps Republicans out greatly and it’s part of their overall scheme/scam that allows them to control states like Michigan where the majority of voters tend to support Democrats.
It’s disgusting and it’s un-American.
[Photo by Amy Lynn Smith.]