LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Voting should be accessible for all

Interfaith Action of SW Michigan and Episcopalians of SW Michigan for Social Justice oppose the three voter identification bills that the Michigan Senate approved on June 16. It is our belief that these bills place unreasonable barriers to voting and will limit full and fair participation in our democracy.

The three bills expand ID requirements for voters before their ballots can be counted, providing extreme barriers for seniors, people with disabilities, and individuals with lower income. The bills remove the option to vote by affidavit if a voter does not have a suitable ID and require voters to submit identifying information for an absentee ballot application. These bills run counter to the extensive legal oversight of the 2020 election, which concluded that Michigan’s current voting process is secure and fair, nullifying the need for this proposed legislation. 

Three years ago, in 2018, Michigan voters overwhelmingly voted for a constitutional amendment to make voting more convenient, not more restrictive. The bills passed by the Michigan Senate will make it more difficult for voters to exercise their rights and run counter to the existing constitutional amendment. 

As communities of faith, we believe in the full participation of all eligible voters in the life of our democracy, and we believe that efforts must be made to ensure that those who have been historically marginalized from participation are fully included.

We believe these bills negatively affect seniors, people with disabilities, people with limited incomes and young people, who all have difficulty obtaining the type of ID that is referenced in these bills. Given this negative impact, these bills run counter to our faith beliefs to ensure “the inclusion of those historically excluded.”

Rev. Dr. Sid Mohn,

Interfaith Action of

Southwest Michigan

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