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Democrats in Lansing once again call for a Voter Bill of Rights

A polling location in Brighton, Mich.
Rebecca Williams
Michigan Radio
A polling location in Brighton, Mich.

Democrats in Lansing have renewed their mission for a Voter Bill of Rights.

Democrats in the state House attempted to pass a resolution to amend the Michigan Constitution last year. This time, State Representative Jon Hoadley is spearheading the effort.

Hoadley said a Voter Bill of Rights would empower people and let them know their voices are heard.

“The entire process from registering to vote in Michigan to dropping your ballot in the ballot box hasn’t improved in 20 years while other states, Red and Blue, have left us in the dust,” he said.

The Voter Bill of Rights would include; the right to no-reason absentee voting, early in-person voting, the ability to register to vote up to 15 days before an election, the ability for registered voters to remain registered and eligible to vote when they move to Michigan, and automatic voter registration for any eligible person issued a state driver’s license or ID card.

Former Dean at Wayne State University Law School, Jocelyn Benson spoke at a press conference announcing the introduction of the resolution.

“We want to hear their voice heard, regardless of who they vote for, regardless of what party they’re a part of,” she said. “Their voice matters in Michigan, and this legislation will bring us one step closer to being in par with many other states.

Republicans and Democrats have gone in opposite directions with what Michigan’s voting policy should be. Last year Republicans offered bills for stricter voter identification laws.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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