Voting and Payday Loans Fuel Progress in Michigan | Michigan News

By DAVID EGGERT Associated Press

DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Election campaigns to expand voting options, restrict payday loans and reform Michigan’s citizen initiative process passed steps before the state board of elections Friday, allowing organizers to begin collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures to qualify for the 2022 ballot.

Pollsters approved summaries to appear on five petitions to be distributed to the public.

Promote the Vote wants to create more than one week of early voting, allow all voters to request an absentee ballot for future elections, and require prepaid postage on return envelopes. His constitutional amendment, proposed months after Republicans launched a veto-proof initiative they say would improve election integrity but Democrats say would reduce voting, would also bar attempts to “unreasonably” overload the right to vote and would enshrine the board’s duty to certify the results after Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempt to nullify the 2020 election.

Michiganders for Fair Lending hopes to slash the interest rates charged by payday lenders that are due within two weeks. The ballot committee, like Promote the Vote, appears to have the financial backing to spread the petitions widely.

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Two proposed constitutional amendments backed by MI Right to Vote also advanced. One has similarities with the Promote the Vote measure. The other would give more time to collect signatures for ballot campaigns, allow voter referendums on laws that waste money, and eliminate the Legislature’s ability to pass bills initiated without the governor’s signature. Instead, the initiatives would go to the voters as constitutional revisions already do.

Pollsters also approved the summary of a petition to decriminalize the production and possession of psychedelic mushrooms.

In all, pollsters approved summaries of a dozen active 2022 election campaigns, including those that would raise the minimum wage, limit the length of emergency pandemic restrictions without legislative approval and enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. .

Khalilah Spencer, chairwoman of the board of Promotion the Vote, which successfully spearheaded a 2018 constitutional amendment that expanded absentee voting and authorized same-day registration, said, “We look forward to engaging directly with Michigan voters about our election reforms.” common sense proposals. ”

The proposal would, among other things, keep intact the option for voters to sign an affidavit if they don’t have photo ID and employee verification of absentee voters’ signatures to verify identity.

Republican-affiliated Secure MI Vote wants to request additional information on absentee ballot requests, such as the last four digits of a Social Security number or a copy of a photo ID, and make voters without ID verify their identity so they can vote. tell. Spokesman Jamie Roe said the Promote the Vote measure “is unnecessary, costly and harmful to securing elections.”

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