NAACP Statement Regarding Passage of Voter Suppression Bills in the Michigan House
The Michigan State Conference of the NAACP has released the following statement regarding the Michigan House’s decision to pass voter suppression bills SB 751, SB 754, and SB 803 today:
“We are deeply disappointed that the Michigan House has passed these egregious bills that trample upon the voting rights of thousands of Michigan citizens,” stated Yvonne White, President of the Michigan State Conference of the NAACP. “This legislation adds unnecessary obstacles to the voting process that countless studies have shown will disproportionately impact people of color, blue collar workers, students, the elderly, and the disabled. We hope that Governor Snyder will reject these blatant attacks on voting rights and veto these bills.”
As passed, SB 751, SB 754, and SB 803 would add significant burdens to the voting process, including:
requirements for photo identification from voters at the time of registration
requirements for a photo identification when requesting an absentee ballot
requirements for third party voter registration groups to register with the state
purging of inactive voter rolls
In Michigan an approved photo ID could cost a voter $25.00, not including the cost to obtain the necessary underlying documents to get the ID. The voter would also have to pay for transportation to the motor vehicle department and potential lost wages if they are an hourly employee.
Additionally, the bills place financial and administrative burdens on third-party registration agencies attempting to register voters under new regulations. Election officials can now challenge ballots cast with improper identification or proof of citizenship, potentially disenfranchising voters during the official ballot count.
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.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.