LETTER: Insidious voter suppression
Published 9:41 am Wednesday, October 31, 2018
When I received my ballot for the midterm elections, I noticed that all Republican candidates were listed first for every office. I understand that Michigan has a rule that whoever won the last election, gets to have their candidates listed first on subsequent ballots. Really! One may think this is no big deal. However, per an NPR discussion in 2016, “a study shows the order in which a candidate’s name is listed on the ballot can help candidates get elected. It gives the party at the top of the list (in this case Republicans) better name recognition.”
Many states allow early voting; do not require strict picture ID to vote; and some states allow voting by mail — not Michigan which requires strict Voter ID to cast a ballot.
If placing one party over another on the ballot and restrictive voter ID requirements weren’t bad enough, Michigan’s Republican legislature has made deliberate, successful attempts to skew elections in their favor by how they draw up their congressional and state districts which is called “gerrymandering.” Michigan has some of the worst partisan manipulating of legislative districts in the country. The Republicans have used this re-districting power to get a larger number of legislative seats and congressional seats than overall vote totals would legitimately provide them.
What to do? There is Proposal 2 on Michigan’s current November ballot which takes re-districting power away from the partisan legislature and gives it to a citizen commission.
We need to stop any further partisan legislature’s ability to keep Democrats or any party from winning office by voting now to limit the ability to manipulate voter re-districting lines. Put this authority into the hands of the people. It’s time to get our Democracy back. Vote yes for Proposal 2-an Independent Redistricting Commission.