bg-header-wemu-rs.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michigan Senators Tackle Voting Reform

Voting Booth
Sam Felder
/
flickr.com

Michigan lawmakers seem to be making voting laws a priority.  Lawmakers in both chambers have now introduced legislation they say will make voting easier. 

State Senators are making voting laws an issue this year.  A mostly Democratic group of Senators has introduced a set of bills they say will make voting easier for everyone.  One of the bills would allow people to preregister to vote when they turn sixteen – as long as they have a driver’s license or a state ID card. 

Democratic Senator Steve Bieda is a bill sponsor.  Calling the legislation innovative, he said the state needs to keep up with modern times when it comes to voting.  

“It’s been used with some great success in a number of other states,” he said.  “It would save money and, frankly, it would help encourage younger people, as a rite of passage, to register to vote.”

Another bill would allow for electronic filing of voter registration applications, and the other would allow no-reason absentee voting.  Bieda called them “common sense” reforms.   

“We are a service industry,” he said.  “We serve the public, and we serve at the public’s discretion.  This is a way of allowing people to exercise their right to vote and register more easily.”

The State House of Representatives also unveiled a voting reform package two weeks ago.  Spearheaded by Democrats, their package also includes no-reason absentee voting. 

Bieda said the issue of making voting easier and accessible shouldn’t be a party issue.  “Philosophically, what we believe in is that every citizen has a right to vote, every vote should be counted, and everybody has a right at the table to make their voice heard,” he said.  “And they do that at the ballot box.”

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Related Content