For Immediate Release: June 23, 2023

Statement from Allison Pulliam and Christine Wood, Co-Directors of the Declaration for American Democracy—a coalition of more than 260 organizations from the labor, racial justice, voting rights, faith, environmental, women’s rights, good government, business and many other important communities—in response to the introduction of the Michigan Voting Rights Act:

“We celebrate the introduction of SB 401, and associated bills SB 402, SB 403, and SB 404, which together would create the Michigan Voting Rights Act. DFAD has supported Michigan organizers in their tireless advocacy leading to the introduction of this legislative package. We call on the Michigan legislature to swiftly pass this legislation to ensure that all eligible Michiganders are able to exercise their freedom to vote.

“This bill would encourage voter participation, ensure that voters are protected from racial and language discrimination, and require jurisdictions to obtain preclearance before enacting voting changes that have potential to diminish the freedom to vote for members of protected classes. The legislation would also create a voter education fund in the state treasury to maximize voter participation.

“Tie-barred to SB 401 are: SB 402, which would create a Voting and Elections Database and Institute; SB 403, which would provide language assistance for elections; and SB 404, which would provide for curbside voting and specific electoral process assistance. Combined, this legislative package would make Michigan’s democracy significantly more accessible, inclusive, and representative.

“This critical legislation matches the need for congressional action to restore the Voting Rights Act and pass the Freedom to Vote Act on the federal level. Like the Michigan Voting Rights Act, these bills would ensure our freedom to vote and protect voters from discrimination nationwide.

“No matter our color, party or zip code, we all deserve to live in a democracy that represents, reflects, and responds to all of us. We praise the Michigan legislature for taking an important step in the right direction, and urge legislators to deliver legislation to protect voters and our democracy.”

# # #