Voting Reforms Needed in Michigan

Michigan Voting Reforms

The Michigan Election Coalition has released its post-election report and is calling for changes in the way Michigan conductions its elections.

The report–which looks at problems on Election Day and in the lead-up to the election–says that many voters continue to face intimidation, harassment, and other barriers when they attempt to vote.

To curtail these problems, the Coalition says that the state should adopt no-reason absentee voting, early voting, and update Michigan’s registration laws. According to the report, Michigan’s registration laws are confusing and often serve to disenfranchise otherwise eligible voters. Strict residency requirements and dropping voter registration after a voter fails to vote in two consecutive federal elections lead to disenfranchisement.

On Election Day, the Coalition reported problems with:

  • Registration Issues – Many citizens registered to vote but were not in the poll books, nor could they be found on the Qualified Voter File (QVF). Many others showed up at the wrong location or were informed when trying to cast their votes that they were removed from the voter rolls for inactivity.
  • Student Voting Issues – Many student voters had problems with their registration showing that they were registered for their “home” address and were told that they had to return home to vote.
  • Long Lines – Understaffed polling locations as well as problems with voting machines and staff contributed to long lines.
  • Malfunctioning Voting Machines – There were many complaints concerning either broken tabulators or jammed ballots in malfunctioning tabulators throughout the state of Michigan on Election Day.
  • Disability Accessibility – Many polling places failed to adequately accommodate voters with accessibility issues.
  • Inadequate Resources for Poll Workers – Several voters complained that poll workers were not adequately trained and/or lacked the resources to help them.