Here’s a piece of what I wrote on Friday:
First, we have the voter suppression effort that I wrote about on Wednesday. This legislation does away with the option to sign an affidavit in lieu of showing a photo ID when voting. If this package of legislation – House Bills 6066, 6067, and 6068 – becomes law, anyone without a photo ID will be required to go to their local clerk’s office within 10 days of the election to prove they are who they say they are. As the Detroit Free Press points out, this would effect thousands and thousands of voters […]
Given the virtual non-existence of voter fraud, this is a solution in search of a problem. In fact, it’s a bald-faced voter suppression effort and nothing more. It’s also a way to help Republican Lisa Lyons’ when she runs for Michigan Secretary of State in a few years. She’s term-limited now and was just elected Kent County Clerk. She’s widely expected to run for Secretary of State in a few years and is trying to make her mark now. People I have spoken with believe she’s pushing this voter suppression legislation now as a way to get leverage to have her all but useless “No-Excuse Absentee Voting” bill passed, legislation she has been trying unsuccessfully to get through the legislature for some time. That legislation would allow people to vote absentee without an excuse as is currently required. However, they would still have to vote in-person making it a half-step toward expanding voting access at best. […]
Lyons used her position as Chair of the House Elections Committee to (a) introduce the legislation on Tuesday, (b) hold a single, unscheduled hearing to take testimony on Wednesday, and (c) hold a second unscheduled Elections Committee meeting on Thursday to pass the legislation and send it to the full House to be voted on as early as next week.
After the original bill left the Elections Committee, it had one very important change inserted in it. It’s this sentence that is in the modified version (Substitute H-5) and NOT in the original version:
SEC. 523C. FOR THE 2016-2017 FISCAL YEAR, $10,000,000.00 IS APPROPRIATED FROM THE GENERAL FUND TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR ELECTION MODERNIZATIONS, VOTER EDUCATION, AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE VOTER IDENTIFICATION PROVISIONS.
That $10 million appropriate makes the legislation referendum-proof (or as I like to call it, “Democracy-proof”), immune from being overturned by the citizens of Michigan through our referendum process. It’s the same sort of bullshit Michigan Republicans pulled when they replaced the original Emergency Managers law just a few short weeks after voters shot it down in the 2012 election as well as a bill allowing wolf hunting in Michigan and their recent attempt to do away with straight-ticket voting in our state.
To put this very bluntly, Republicans do NOT want the citizens of this state interfering with their complete and total consolidation of political power in Michigan.
Make sure your state legislators hear from you on this issue. Call your State Representative and Senator and make sure that he or she votes AGAINST all three of these disgusting pieces of voter suppression legislation. You can find your Senator HERE and your Representative HERE.