Michigan Senate Bills Aim to Restrict Voting Access

Matthew Donnellon

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash


Not to be outdone by Georgia’s heinous and most likely unconstitutional new set of election laws, Michigan’s GOP drafted a new set of laws echoing the same goals.

If case you haven’t heard or don’t own a television, computer, or phone (in which case how would you be reading this but I digress) Georgia enacted new voting measures to curb mail in voting, limit voting in certain high population counties, and even keep people from giving those waiting in line to vote food or water.

Michigan’s own elephantine operation decided to get in on the action. Michigan Republican’s have introduced several new bills namely to address election security, but in practice it’s about controlling who gets to vote.

Republican McBroom, Vulcan, and Johnson put forth a bill admonishing the Secretary of State’s decision to email absentee ballot applications. It is prudent to point out that she did this during a global pandemic.

Bill 39 includes many changes to the voting process, including making it easier to observe poll practices.

The three most notable bills are Bill 310, Bill 287, and Bill 289.

Bill 289 addresses things financially. If it is passed, it would not let the Secretary of State use federal funds for elections without the Legislature’s approval. This would effectively give the state Legislature far more control over the election.

Bill 287 if passed would not let the state or the local election officials pre-pay the postage to return absentee ballots. While it may not seem like a big move, it’s one more hurdle to keep people from returning their ballot.

Then there’s Bill 310 is probably the biggest hurdle to the voting process. Should the bill be codified into law, the absentee ballots would have to be applied for in person or by mail. If this becomes law then there would no longer be a way to apply for an absentee ballot online.

This is very important. Absentee ballot voting is one of the reasons turnout was so high in the last election. Making it easier to get online compounded this.

Should people be forced to only get mail in or in person it is not a large leap of knowledge to suggest voter turnout will go down.

That’s mostly what these laws would do. They want fewer people voting, and they want more control over the votes once they’ve been cast.

Ostensibly these laws are about election security. However, voter fraud is extremely rare. It’s not about security it’s about suppression. Michigan’s GOP wants to keep fewer people voting because the lower the turnout the higher chance a Republican gets election.

They’re trying to swindle elections that haven’t even happened yet.

They need to be stopped.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI

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