FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Michigan Election Coalition
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Contact: Jessica Tramontana, firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-6302
Over 145 calls to hotlines set up across the state reporting problems at the polls
LANSING – Today the Michigan Election Coalition released a new report calling for reforms following numerous voter suppression incidents that occurred during the August 7 primary election. Nonpartisan hotlines were set up for concerned residents to call in with problems at the polls, and 145 calls were received to those hotlines, including the Election Protection Hotline (866) OUR-VOTE. The report recommends needed reforms to make voting accessible for registered voters, including: eliminating the checkbox asking residents to reaffirm their citizenship, improve voter education at the electronic poll book and ensure consistent use of the photo identification law.
“As Governor Snyder predicted would happen, these complicated rules confused Michigan residents,” said Melanie McElroy of Common Cause Michigan. “The state of Michigan should be making it easier for all eligible voters to vote, and not using unnecessary and redundant requirements at the polls.”
The attached report details incidents at polling locations across the state, with the highest number of reports at precincts in Ingham, Oakland and Wayne counties. The hotlines were advertised before the primary, and all voters might not have known about the opportunity to call with questions.
“We all want to ensure only eligible voters are participating in our elections. But asking citizens to reaffirm their citizenship – after they already did so when they registered to vote – does nothing to prevent noncitizens from voting or preserve the integrity of our elections,” said Jocelyn Benson, Wayne State University Law Professor and Director of the nonpartisan Michigan Center for Election Law. “Eligible citizens should be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote without harassment or intimidation. We hope the state adopts our recommendations to ensure that no voter is wrongly denied their ballot this November.”
The Michigan Election Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition comprised of dozens of organizations that represent members from a wide geographic range across the state.