Skubick: Republicans, voter rights groups, butt heads over voter reform

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) –  State Republicans claim they are pushing voter reform legislation to protect the vote, while the group Voters Not Politicians counters it’s an attempt to suppress the vote.

WLNS’ Tim Skubick has the latest.

“These voter suppression tactics are thinly veiled attempts to reduce and eliminate the convenience of voting for every eligible voter in Michigan,” said Willie Patterson of LINC-UP Grand Rapids, a neighborhood avodcacy group.

Tony Daunt of the Michigan Freedom Fund, a conservative activist group, disagrees.

“This is about protecting the integrity of the vote and the security of our ballots,” he said.

In 2018 Michigan voters approved a host of election reforms aimed at making it easier for more people to vote.

Now, the citizens’ group Voters Not Politicians is accusing legislative Republicans of trying to peel back those reforms and return to old Jim Crow laws that made it tougher for persons of color to vote.

“Now we see the Republicans in our legislature doing the national effort to make it harder to vote in Michigan,” said Voters Not Politicians CEO Nancy Wang.

“GOP efforts peel back the reforms, which is against the will of the people.”

One of the GOP bills will put video cameras overlooking voting drop off boxes.

“These are just tactics to intimatE people, and being under surveillance will discourage people from exercising their right to vote at a drop box,” said Wang.

Daunt, again disagrees.

“It’s to make sure if something happens to it [the ballot]. Somebody destroys it and steals all the ballots, I think we want to know what’s going on there and track those people down, too.”

Even if the GOP legislature passes these 39 bills, the Governor has signaled she will likely veto them but they won’t stop the Republicans from debating this issue.

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