Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Should We Dramatically Change Voter Access Laws In Michigan?

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

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

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Chris ThomasRick Pluta/MPRN
Rick Pluta/MPRN

Chris Thomas

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. 

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


 2018 Elections in Michigan

This post is a part of 2018 Elections in Michigan.

On November 6, Michigan voters will decide who will be the state's new governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Some state House and Senate seats are up for grabs, and numerous initiatives are expected on ballots.

WDET is committed to providing honest, fair, inclusive coverage of Michigan's 2018 elections. Join us now and all the way to the voting booth to be an informed voter.


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