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Letter to the Editor: Make Voting Easier, Not Harder

Cindy Miller, Letter to the Editor, 03/24/2022


I spent my entire adult life rushing to the polls on election day before work because going after work meant long lines and late supper. We only had the one day, had to be processed by no less than four poll workers, and then hoped we filled out the ballot properly under these rushed circumstances.

I questioned (and wrote letters) through the decades about why we didn’t have basic election laws, simple things that were uniform for each state. Some ideas were for proper and simple identification, a holiday for accessing the polls in person one day per year (This would have helped poll volunteers as well), eighteen year olds having voter registration forms sent to them automatically upon their eighteenth birthday (What would announce adulthood more importantly?), absentee ballots being sent out automatically, and for voting being cast over a ten day period allowing for mail time and/or for voters to access ballot boxes located conveniently at each municipality.

I wholeheartedly trusted my neighbors who worked the polls over the years in both Benton Harbor and St. Joseph (Republicans and Democrats, by the way.) As it turned out my trust was well-placed, given that multiple audits of recent elections have proven the honor and integrity of our election system.

Unfortunately, there is now a hard push from far-right Republican legislators in Michigan who want to make voting more difficult. These legislators have organized the circulation of a deceptive petition called “Secure MI Vote.” This petition would allow veto-proof voter suppression laws.

In marked contrast, Promote the Vote, a non-partisan group dedicated to voters like you and me, is circulating a ballot initiative to amend Michigan’s constitution to make voting easier, not harder. Not only would this petition ensure a system that works for everyone, it is supported by a variety of non-partisan organizations devoted to bringing freedom and voting rights to us all, including: The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, Voters Not Politicians (the group that spearheaded the successful drive to eliminate partisan gerrymandering in our state,) and the League of Women Voters of Michigan.

If enough of us circulate and sign the PROMOTE THE VOTE ballot initiative, and then vote for it in November, we would be one important step closer to having voting laws that benefit us all in a fair and unified American support for democracy.

Cynthia Miller

Benton Harbor


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