Detroit Regional Chamber Statement on Michigan Election Reform LegislationApril 12, 2021
DETROIT (April 12, 2021) – The Detroit Regional Chamber has advocated for smart voting reforms, such as supporting no-excuse absentee voting and same-day voter registration, and has taken a stand in defense of the validity of the 2020 election.
Of the 39 bills introduced in the Michigan legislature focused on voting processes and access, some are common sense improvements that make an already strong process stronger, including extending early voting opportunities. Others, however, have the impact of unreasonably restricting Michiganders’ ability to exercise their right to vote. Other provisions place undue burdens on already stressed election workers and risk the confidentiality of an individual’s vote.
The Detroit Regional Chamber will oppose measures that, on balance, unreasonably impact our members and their employees’ ability to exercise the franchise – especially measures with a disproportionate impact on communities of color and those less affluent – without providing needed integrity and security.
Regarding this debate, the following principles will shape the Chamber’s engagement:
- The 2020 election was well executed, fair, and lacked meaningful levels of voter fraud. Therefore, changes to voting rules and processes must be made carefully and not create unreasonable impediments for voters.
- Improving security coupled with more customer-centric voting processes need not be a partisan issue; as the Democratic governor and Republican legislature of Kentucky recently demonstrated.
- Some elements of our society face higher hurdles to vote, including restricted personal resources and more difficult polling place access – and these issues must be addressed. Making voting more difficult is contrary to the ethos of both social and technological advancement.
- Michigan businesses compete nationally and internationally for diverse talent to remain competitive. More restrictive voting rules send an unwelcoming message to prospective talent and hinder our state’s economic competitiveness.
The Detroit Regional Chamber will continue to monitor this package of bills and will support those that make an already strong system better, advance customer-centric processes, and will oppose legislation that unduly burdens Michiganders’ ability to participate in elections.