Mar 4, 2009

GOP SOS candidates keep up roadblock to voters

LANSING – You would think the job of the Michigan Secretary of State is to increase vote turnout and make it easier for people to vote, but not Republican SOS candidates Cameron Brown and Michele McManus.

On Wednesday, the Senate Democratic Caucus forced a vote on a tie-bar of no reason absentee voting to a bill by Sen. Tony Stamas, R- Midland, intended to provide relief for incorrect nominating petition info from SOS. The bill was defeated along party lines, including Brown and McManus. Apparently, McManus’s only objection to the bill is that Democrats favor it; telling the official mouthpiece of the state GOP, “rightMichigan,”
“Anything the Democrats want so badly, I am naturally suspicious of and almost always opposed to. I get a little nervous when I hear people start talking about some of these "voter convenience" issues, like no-reason absentee voting.”

The Senate Republicans have pulled out all the stops to defeat it in the past. The House approved it last session.

No-reason absentee voting has widespread support, including from the Michigan Municipal Clerks Association (MMCA) and numerous other groups. Twenty-eight states currently have no reason absentee voting legislation, with three additional states permitting in person voting prior to Election Day. Among the many groups and people in support of his common sense measure is Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, perhaps the most partisan SOS in Michigan history.

“Democracy is not a partisan issue, and any discussion of election reform or voting equity should include No Reason Absentee Voting,” said Sen. Liz Brater, D-Ann Arbor, the sponsor of Senate Bill 97 that enacts no reason A/B. “If we’re willing to amend the Michigan Election Law as it relates to certain candidates for judicial offices, why wouldn’t we also undertake efforts to make voting more accessible for all residents.”

Current Michigan law says the are only six reasons for absentee ballot voting: age 60 years old or older, unable to vote without assistance at the polls, expecting to be out of town on election day, in jail awaiting arraignment or trial, unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons or are appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.


Not Anonymous said...

I wouldn't think that it was up to the Secretary of State to make it easier for people to vote. It is their job to be sure that those that do vote, do so legally. That those that run have done so properly and legally. That those who are running, are doing so legally and following the campaign laws and the campaign finance laws.

The Secretary of State did her job by fining Mark Schauer for violating the law. He should be in jail for breaking the law. Maybe he'll go to jail the next time he violates the law.

Voting is a privilege and an obligation of citizens of this state and this country. It's up to the citizen to drag his rear end to vote. It's not up to, and shouldn't be up to, the Secretary of State to make it easier for them to vote.

Communications guru said...

I would. According to their stated mission, “The Department of State is committed to delivering modern, efficient, cost-effective and convenient service.” Tell me, brett, what’s more convenient than allowing peoples to vote absentee when they want to?

Common sense says the SOS’s job is to make voting easy and convenient.
All your example of Congressman Schauer does is show how partisan this SOS is.

No, voting is a right guaranteed in the Constitution, not a privilege, and the SOS should do everything in their power to make that happen. This really is a nonpartisan issue, and I fail to see who is hurt if more people vote and are involved in the political process. Early voting should also be enacted in Michigan.