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Voter rights overhaul petition approved for circulation

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A ballot campaign will begin collecting signatures to add a voting rights amendment to the state constitution.

The effort is backed by the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, and the Detroit branch of the NAACP.

The ACLU’s Kary Moss says the proposal would allow early voting and make it easier for people to vote absentee.

“If somebody wants to vote absentee, they have to be over 60 years old, they have to have an excuse," Moss said. "This proposal would allow for no-excuse absentee voting.”

The amendment would also allow people to continue to vote a straight-party ticket with one mark on a ballot. Moss says these would all encourage more people to turn out to vote.

Republicans oppose the measure. They say it’s an effort by Democrats to bend the rules in their favor.  

 “This is not about modernizing voting, or good government," said Sarah Anderson of the Michigan Republican Party. "It’s a desperate attempt to rig the system by liberal Democrats who can’t win on Election Day.” 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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