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Voting Overhaul Group Files Signatures For Michigan's 2018 Ballot

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A ballot measure aimed at improving access to voting was turned over to the Secretary of State Monday.  Monday was the last day for citizen-initiated proposals to amend the state constitution to turn in their signatures for review by the Bureau of Elections.

A group called Promote the Vote turned in more than 400,000 signatures to get their measure on the November ballot.

“Our democracy is one in which every voice is heard and counted, whether you’re a Republican, Independent, or Democrat,” said executive director for the ACLU of Michigan, Kary Moss.  The ACLU has partnered with the Promote the Vote Coalition.

The initiative would amend the state constitution.  It would allow no-reason absentee voting and automatic voter registration.  And it would allow people to register to vote up to and on Election Day.

Reverend Wendell Anthony of the NAACP of Michigansaid everyone should have access to the polls.

“This is not just for us, we are promoting the vote for everybody in the state of Michigan,” he said.  “Michigan should not be the last state to come up to the current times.”

The proposal also calls for an audit of election results to ensure their integrity.

Fred Woodhams is with the Secretary of State’s office.  He said the office doesn’t take a position on ballot proposals.  However, he said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has worked to ensure the integrity of the state’s elections.

“Overall, Michigan has a very good election system, we’re very proud of it, we think it’s a national model,” Woodhams said.

Woodhams said the office already does audits after elections.  He says that was started in 2013 as part of Johnson’s election integrity plan.  The proposal does not specify what types of audits it calls for.

Woodhams said it will take about 60 days for the Bureau of Elections to review the signatures.  After that, it will make a recommendation to the state’s elections board on whether there are enough valid signatures for the measure to go on the ballot.

You can learn more about the initiative here.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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