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Major changes to Michigan's voting process headed to November ballot

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan voters will decide a ballot question in November that would open up the voting process.

The state Board of Canvassers certified the “Promote the Vote” petition Thursday. The board will consider final ballot language Friday.

The ballot initiative would allow no-reason absentee voting by mail, guarantee straight-party voting, and let residents register to vote up to and on Election Day.

Todd Cook is the campaign manager.  He says they’re now turning getting it passed in November.

“I think that’s one of the concerns we have obviously with a busy ballot to make sure people flip over their ballot and complete it all the way down to the bottom,” says Cook.

Promote the Vote is supported by a variety of groups, including the League of Women Voters, ACLU-Michigan and the NAACP.

Todd Cook also expects organized opposition this fall.

“Well, I mean, unfortunately there are always going to be people who…the current system works better for them. So they’re going to push back on that,” says Cook.

Promote the Vote will be competing to get the attention of voters along with multiple state and federal elections, as well as a state wide vote on legalizing recreational marijuana.  

The Board of Canvassers approved ballot language for the marijuana ballot question Thursday. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.