Voting is one of the greatest privileges of being an American. The right and the ability to cast our ballots on Election Day is what help us shape our community, our nation and our future together. As our Constitution assures us, as Americans, voting is how we build a more perfect union. Unfortunately, a presidential Commission on Election Administration recently found that voting remains more difficult and time consuming than necessary. After six months of research, the bipartisan panel also found that Americans from all backgrounds – Republicans, Democrats and independents – want election reforms and a “modern, efficient and responsive” voting experience. Other states have been paying attention. They’re taking steps to help more Americans vote. Michigan, on the other hands, lags far behind and it’s time for policymakers and elected leaders in the Legislature to take action.
Here’s what Michigan can do to help more of our fellow Americans exercise their Constitutional right to vote:
Online voter registration is one simple way to increase voter participation and the accuracy of the voter rolls. Seventeen states already have or are implementing online voter registration, giving voters a quick, convenient and secure way to register to vote or update their registration.
Getting registered is only half the battle. For too many Michigan voters, going to the polls on Election Day is difficult, if not impossible. Currently in Michigan a voter can only vote absentee for certain specific reasons, such as being a senior citizen, being out of town on Election Day or being in jail.