Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Snyder bucks GOP, protects voting rights

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder bucked his own party on Tuesday, vetoing a three-bill package passed by the GOP-controlled House and Senate. Critics said the bills would have suppressed voter turnout, especially among young people, senior and minorities — all groups that tend to vote Democratic.

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Detroit Democrat, was quick to praise Snyder’s action.

“I was strongly opposed to the voting measures passed by the Republican-controlled State House, and I am pleased Gov. Snyder did the right thing and vetoed three of the measures,” Conyers said in a press release. “Instead of making it more difficult to register to vote and to vote, we should be reducing barriers to the ballot box.  There is no more fundamental right in our democracy than the right to vote.  I hope that both parties can work together in Lansing, Washington and around the nation to facilitate this precious right.

“The governor vetoed SB 754, which would have required a photo ID for voter registration and implemented new restrictive regulations on voter registration organizations; SB 803, which would have required individuals to attest to their citizenship when voting in person or by absentee ballot; and SB 5061, which would have required a photo ID for picking up absentee ballots in person. The governor did not veto SB 751, which will create an inactive voter list and require absentee ballots from a class of voters on that list to be automatically challenged. I am concerned that this measure will prove harmful to voting, but appreciate the important vetoes of the other measures.”

Also lauding the governor was Todd Cook, director of the group We Are the People, a statewide coalition of students, seniors and workers.

“Our right to vote has been protected — and that’s good news for Michigan,” Cook noted in a press release. “Thousands and thousands of voters asked Gov. Snyder to veto this ill-conceived legislation, including more than 2,800 people who signed a petition from our coalition of seniors, students and working families. We’re glad he listened to us.

“There’s no good reason to make it harder for people to vote, or to make it harder for civic and community organizations to register voters. At a time when special interests and wealthy individuals have way too much influence over our electoral process, it’s more important than ever to keep the door to the voting booth open for everyone who wants to exercise their rights.”

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