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Voting Rights Ballot Proposal Analyzed

Sep 16, 2022

On Thursday, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan released an analysis of Proposal 2, a citizen initiated constitutional amendment that would place certain voting rights into the State Constitution.  The proposal will appear on the November 8 General Election ballot.

What they found:

  • If Proposal 2 is adopted, several voting rights will be enshrined in the Michigan Constitution. While many of them are currently dealt with in state law, including these rights in the state constitution will make it more difficult for the legislature to make changes to certain aspects of the voting franchise.
  • If Proposal 2 is rejected, many of these voting rights would be enforced in current state law. Lawmakers will continue to be responsible for safeguarding voting in Michigan through state law and would have the prerogative of implementing provisions not currently available.
  • Major issues to consider: The key issue raised by the proposal deals less with the specific voting rights that would be included in the state constitution, than with whether these policy preferences should be in the state’s foundational document. Many of the policies contained in the proposal are ones that are essentially legislative matters that currently reside in the Michigan Election Law.

Some of the voting rights covered by Proposal 2 have long been part of U.S., and Michigan’s, civic life – particularly establishing voting as a fundamental right. Others that have been more controversial are included as well, such as the ability to attest to one’s identity by signing an affidavit if he or she does not bring identification with them to the polling place on Election Day.  “This proposal continues a trend of bypassing initiated statutes and proposing statutory material for inclusion in the state constitution,” said Eric Lupher, President of the Citizens Research Council. “Further, it might create fear that a no vote would threaten long-established voting rights, such as the secret ballot.”

A copy of the CRC analysis can be found here: Statewide Ballot Proposal 22-2: Promote the Vote 2022.

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