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Skubick: Vote-by-mail move gains momentum

Michigan

Lansing, MI (WLNS) – There is movement on a major reform on how we vote.  

A proposal will be introduced in the state Senate to eliminate every polling place in the state and replace it with mail-in voting for everyone.  

If this proposal is adopted, and it’s a huge if at this read, voting in-person like today would be eliminated forever and if liberal Democrat Senator Jeff Irwin has his way, all voting for everyone would be done through the mail.

Senator Jeff Irwin argues we already have legalized absentee voting so use that system and mandate that everyone vote from home and not at a polling place.

The senator predicts millions of taxpayers dollars could be saved by not having to hire and train thousands of poll workers and five other states are already saving that money.

The senator tells 6 News, “it’s less expensive, it is more secure, its safer and it’s easier.”

Mr. Irwin has been thinking about this for years but the advent of the COVID-19 virus added more urgency to do it now.

One advantage, he argues, is voters often show up and consider candidates or issues for the first time on the day of the election.

This new system would allow them to study the candidates and issues from the kitchen table and not in the voting booth.

Local clerks would keep their offices open for those who want to drop off their ballot or register to vote on Election Day. 

The senator has briefed Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on his plan but did not ask for her endorsement.

She was asked about mail-in voting this August and November but she declined to endorse it saying that she would inform voters that option was available.

“Everyone in Michigan has a right to vote by mail and so we are going to be spending every moment we can between now and our two statewide elections making sure every citizen, every voter has the ability to do that and exercise that choice,” explained Benson on Monday.

Sen. Irwin’s proposal would eliminate that choice and make it mandatory for everyone, if he can get it passed.

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