UPDATE: Despite hopeful signs from Governor Rick Snyder’s office, the fight against voter suppression is far from over in Michigan. Senators Darwin Booher and David Robertson have introduced SB 1219, identical to the vetoed SB 803. The ballot coaching provision in HB 5061 was referred back to the House Committee on Redistricting and Elections. SB 754 is also likely to return.
In a move hailed by voting rights advocates, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder separated himself from his conservative allies last week when he vetoed HB 5061, SB 803, and SB 754, all part of a voter suppression package tied in part to ALEC.
Governor Snyder’s veto pen should send a strong message to Lansing politicians that it’s time to halt these voter suppression efforts once and for all.
Fortunately, the governor saw that this was a bill that was not only unnecessary, but put up barriers, obstacles for certain parts of the population.
Gov. Snyder did the right thing by vetoing this restrictive bill, which would have been bad for Michigan voters and could have violated federal law. In the past two years, a wave of restrictive laws has passed across the country that could make it harder for millions of eligible Americans to vote. These measures, like the one in Michigan, are bad policy and must be rejected. It is good Gov. Snyder recognized that fact.
Governor Snyder did, however, sign SB 751, which creates an inactive voter list whose absentee ballots are now required to be automatically challenged. The fate of HB 5221, another suppressive bill with ALEC ties, has yet to be determined.
For more information, check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation.