For too long the Arab American voice on Election Day in Southeast Michigan and in cities like Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Hamtramck in particular has been muted. Proposal 3 is a statewide ballot measure that would reduce some of the barriers that prevent us as a community from fully participating in elections and we urge our readers to approve it.
If adopted, the proposal would:
- Protect the right to vote using a secret ballot.
- Ensure military service members and overseas voters get their ballots in on time.
- Provide voters with the option to vote straight party.
- Register citizens to vote at the Secretary of State’s office unless the citizen declines.
- Allow a citizen to register to vote by mail or in person until 15 days before an election. After that, citizens may register to vote in person before an elections official with proof of residency up to and on Election Day.
- Provide all registered voters access to an absentee ballot for any reason.
- Ensure the accuracy and integrity of elections by auditing election results.
At its heart, this proposal is about modernizing elections in Michigan. Many of the proposal’s provisions have been widely adopted by other states because they remove present-day barriers to voting that are enshrined in Michigan’s antiquated voting laws. For example, current state law restricts absentee voting to voters who fit a narrow set of circumstances. If Proposal 3 passes, any eligible Michigan voter could request an absentee ballot and vote when they’re ready, either on or before Election Day. There’s no legitimate reason that most Michigan voters should be restricted to in-person voting options.
Other provisions will bring Michigan’s voter registration process more in line with other states while at the same time increasing security, ensuring that every eligible citizen’s voice is heard at the ballot box. Extending the current deadline for mail-in voter registration to 15 days before an election and increasing the security of our voter registration process by requiring those who register within 14 days of the election to do so in person with proof of residency before an election official makes sense. These commonsense changes have worked in dozens of other states and have made the voter registration process work for better for voters.
The proposal is especially attractive because in addition to removing voting barriers, it will boost election security. The Center for American Progress specifically cited Michigan’s current lack of a mandated audit of election results as a reason for giving the state a “C” grade for election security. Under Proposal 3, audits of statewide elections results would be mandated so we can ensure that every vote is secure and has been counted.
While Michigan was once on the cutting edge of reducing barriers to voting laws and securing our elections, our state has fallen behind. We’re optimistic that Proposal 3’s long-overdue reforms will help our community use its electoral voice.
On Tuesday, November 6. Vote YES on Proposal 18-3.
Vote November 6th, 2018. PAID FOR BY THE COMMITTEE TO RETAIN KURTIS T. WILDER TO THE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT.
Posted by The Arab American News on Tuesday, October 23, 2018