We’re about to have a gubernatorial election in the state of Michigan. But do many people care enough to go out and vote? The truth is many people won’t go vote. History tells us only about four to maybe five out of ten people have voted in the state’s gubernatorial election since 1962. Now, a nationwide report on voter turnout is criticizing Michigan’s leaders for not making enough changes to entice voters to come to the polls on a regular basis. The report from the Center for American Progress found that Michigan could boost voter turnout by more than 235,000 “if the state adopted new policies to reduce barriers and make voting more convenient”. “92 million eligible Americans did not vote in 2016 and 143 million didn’t vote in 2014,” Center for American Progress Voting Rights Manager Danielle Root said. “That is a problem and that includes Democrats, Republicans, Independents and everybody in-between. We all need to come together to fix that.”
Root says Michigan lawmakers haven’t adopted enough policies to make it more voter-friendly, like early voting, no-reason absentee voting and online voter registration. “Even adopting 1 or 2 of these reforms would mean a significant difference,” Root said.
The good news is Michigan is about to tackle one or two of the reforms that are listed by the organization. Michigan lawmakers are considering allowing people to register to vote online with a valid id card.
Another reform that’s less likely to be passed by the end of the year is no-reason absentee voting.