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NAACP Salutes Gov. Snyder for Vetoing Key Voter Suppression Bills

LANSING—The NAACP Michigan State Conference salutes Gov. Rick Snyder for vetoing voter suppression legislation written into Senate Bills 754 and 803, and House Bill 5061, today.

The controversial voter sweep, including Senate Bill 751, was an affront to Michigan voters and community based voter registration efforts such as those of the NAACP and Michigan Election Coalition.

“The NAACP Michigan State Conference is dedicated to protecting the rights of all citizens,” said Yvonne White, President of the NAACP Michigan State Conference. “By vetoing HB 5061, SB 754 and 803, Governor Snyder is protecting the voting rights of Michigan citizens and helping organizations continue to educate communities and encourage the vote on Election Day.”

There have been no instances of voter fraud under the current election law since October 2008 according to a state audit by the Bureau of Elections. Similar to other states, however, some Michigan legislators joined the chorus of “mass voter fraud” and “diminishing election integrity.”

“Governor Snyder’s veto of these voter suppressive bills is an important step to ensuring voting rights are protected for all citizens,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP.  Jealous spoke with Governor Snyder last week regarding the impact these laws would have on communities of color in Michigan. “We appreciate that he listened to and heard our concern on these laws.  Voting rights should not be a partisan issue. Governor Synder’s leadership today is a welcome sign.”

Senate Bills 754 and 803 would have increased barriers to voting without addressing ballot security or increasing the integrity of Michigan elections. Senate Bill 803 would have required a proof of citizenship checkbox on ballot applications and Senate Bill 754 would have unnecessarily expanded the use of photo identification to include absentee ballot voters and new registrants and placed unnecessary hardships on third party voter registration efforts.

Senate Bill 751, which creates an inactive voter list of otherwise eligible voters, was signed into law today. The veto of 754, however, increases the potential for the NAACP and other voter advocates to reach the Michigan population, inform voters of requirements and changes, and mobilize eligible voters for Election Day.

“We look forward to working with the Governor in the next few months, ensuring that our priorities are met and that our votes are counted on Election Day,” stated White.