Should We Dramatically Change Voter Access Laws In Michigan?

“(The ballot proposal) is really designed to make voting easier and cheating harder,” says Chris Thomas, former Michigan elections director.

Rick Pluta/MPRN

This fall every voter in Michigan will be asked a handful of ballot questions that could change a lot in this state. One of those ballot proposals is aimed at accessibility and inclusivity in voting.

The campaign called Promote the Vote is asking for voters to amend the state constitution to automatically register of-age citizens to vote, unless they otherwise decline, provide for a straight party voting option, and provide no-reason absentee ballots to anyone who asks, among other changes.  

Chris Thomas was Michigan elections director for more than two decades. He recently endorsed the ballot initiative.

Thomas joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to speak about Promote the Vote.

“(The ballot proposal) is really designed to make voting easier and cheating harder,” says Thomas. “The fact that you put a number of different proposals into one question…is not unique. That happens all the time.”

“None of this is cutting edge. This is Michigan catching up,” he says.

There has been some criticism, specifically from secretary of state hopeful Mary Treder Lang, that the proposal is being driven by interests from outside the state of Michigan.

“Everybody I’ve talked to are Michigan people that drafted this, that put it together,” Thomas says. “There are over 320,000 Michigan-registered voters who signed this to put it on the ballot.”

Click on the audio player for the full conversation. 


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