Michigan Ballot Issues for Consideration
By RIM Reporter Jonathan Wilson
Attorney Judy Simonson
Michigan Freedom Fund
People Power Movement
Michigan voters will decide Nov. 6 whether they’d like to radically change the way state and federal voting district lines are drawn in Michigan. Judy Simonson spoke in support of Proposal 2 which, if passed, would establish a commission of citizens with exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress every 10 years. This 13-seat commission would be made up of 4 Republicans, 4 Democrats and 5 individuals non-affiliated with either major party. The proposal would prevent political parties from drawing voting maps that directly benefit themselves and their special interest backers. More information can be found at: www.votersnotpoliticians.com/yeson2.
Tony Daunt, Director of Operations at the Michigan Freedom Fund, spoke in opposition of Proposal 2. Tony states that Proposal 2 would be costly due to the fact that there is no maximum payment identified to compensate the commission members. Also, once locked into the state’s constitution, there is no accountability to Michigan voters. Additionally, the proposal is unfair as it excludes up to 1 million of our citizens from participating, mostly because they have a family member who is civically engaged.
Josie James of the People Power Movement spoke in support of Proposal 3. Prop 3 enshrines a variety of voting rights in the state constitution. Some are measures Michigan already has in some form: statewide election audits and the right of the U.S. military and overseas voters to receive absentee ballots. The proposal would make those rights harder to change by including them in the constitution. Other parts of Prop 3 would guarantee: the right to vote by straight party ticket, automatic voter registration, same day voter registration and no-reason absentee voting. Yet another is already in the constitution: the right to vote by secret ballot. Other states that implemented similar voting reforms have said it has made it easier for citizens to vote and improved voter turnout. More information about Proposal 3 can be found at: https://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/michigan-ballot-issues-what-know-about-prop-3-voting-rights