Sep 18, 2009

SOS candidate wants to make it harder for people to vote

Common sense says the primary job and responsibility of the Michigan Secretary of State is to ensure the ease and security of elections. Somebody better tell that to Sen. Michelle McManus, R-Lake Leelanau, one of the GOP candidates for Secretary of State.

In a mass email touting her endorsement by RNC committee person Holly Hughes, McManus says she “has stood up against proposals like no-reason absentee voting, pre-registration of 16-year-olds and early voting.” In other words, she opposes every measure to make it easier to vote and increase voter turnout.

Those commons sense measures were approved by the House this year, but the GOP-controlled Senate refuses to take them up. However, current Republican Secretary of State Terri Land supports those measures. In fact, Land – who is also a Republican caudate for Lt. Governor in 2010 - told the House Committee on Ethics and Elections in June that she would help move the bills to the Senate floor for a vote.

No-reason absentee voting has widespread support, and those supporting it include The Michigan Election Reform Alliance, The Michigan Election Coalition, The League of Women Voters, The Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, The Michigan Municipal League, The Michigan Campaign Finance Network, The Michigan Association of County Clerks, The Michigan Townships Association, Common Cause Michigan and The Michigan Nonprofit Association.

I guess McManus is not concerned about getting the endorsement of groups like The Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks or The Michigan Association of County Clerks.

Because the nomination for SOS comes at the party convention, McManus has to play to the GOP base, which has taken an extreme right turn, and she threw them some red meat with this ditty: “As a state Senator, Michelle has been the firewall against legislation tailor-made to make it easier for groups like ACORN and to manipulate our elections.”

First, when has ACORN and ever manipulated any election? I know ACORN is the biggest boogyman for right-wingers, and they have been accused of every crime under the sun. But what they are really guilty of and why the right hates them so much is because they register poor people to vote.

It’s funny that the reason Land gives for registering 16-year-olds: because she says it’s much better than registering them to vote when age 18 by outside groups, but in her endorsement, Hughes claims McManus has the “right experience to build on the success of the Land and Miller legacies.”

Apparently not.

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