Flint pastors speak out against electoral reform laws and plan the Lansing rally
FLINT, me. (WYRT) – (04/12/21) – “Anytime we have the opportunity to vote and we don’t, we don’t respect their memories, I don’t want to,” said Flint Resident
This thought drives Derwin Harris to vote in every election. Exercising this fundamental right is something Flint residents take pride in.
“If we want to speak out loud, we do it through our voting. Not by what we say all the time, but by our voices, ”he said.
The idea that some of the current voting rights granted to Michigan residents may be removed – harbors Harris.
“We’re trying to cut it off before it becomes a problem,” said Harris.
Today local faith and community leaders – along with state lawmakers – held a press conference outside Berston Field House. A place that also serves as a polling station for many Flint residents. They are calling on the community, people like Harris, to join them in preventing Republican lawmakers from passing a number of bills that they say are aimed at suppressing voters – especially in black communities like Flint.
“We know that in the last election, people of color, mostly African-Americans, had a huge impact on the election. Not just in the state of Michigan, but across the country. And we stand here today to say that this will be tolerated. It will not be allowed to go without a fight, ”said Flint Pastor Chris Martin.
Some of the proposed changes include:
Senate Act 285, which would require ID regardless of whether you vote by mail or in person.
Postal ballot applicants would need to provide a copy of their photo ID to the post office clerk or bring it to the clerk’s office.
Senate Bill 273 would require the Secretary of State and the County Board of Canvassers to approve all dropboxes.
Critics say such a move could mean less dropboxing and prevent some from voting.
According to Senate Bill 286, employees would have to lock their dropboxes for the last time at 5:00 p.m. the day before an election, which means that voters will no longer be able to use dropboxes for postal voting on election day.
“Basically, we’re looking at January 6th in a suit and tie. They are no longer trying to break into the Capitol, but to withdraw access to the ballot box, ”said State Senator Jim Ananich (D) Flint.
Durwin Harris, who came out to hear what his community leaders had to say about these proposed changes and how he can help ensure his right to vote, continues to be just that. His right.
“I think we’re working together as a unit to make sure we have the right to vote and without much interference,” said Harris.
Pastors and elected officials will hold a rally in Lansing on Tuesday to speak out against the electoral reform bills.
ABC 12 will also be directed to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey about the bills. We are still waiting for feedback.
More than five and a half million Michigandans voted in the 2020 presidential election.
Over half of those votes – were missing.
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