Michigan groups combat election misinformation, urge democracy reform

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  • Steve Neavling
  • Election sign in Detroit.

Community groups have held vigils across Michigan this week to call for voting and democracy reform on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack following the 2020 election.

As the U.S. Department of Justice continues to probe the riot, Congress is taking up voting-rights legislation.

Allison Wilcox, leadership team member for the Women of Michigan Action Network, said legislation like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, now both before Congress, are basic.

“There are several bills that, if those could be passed, they would really help to strengthen our democracy,” Wilcox asserted. “They would help enhance voting access and ensure fairness in drawing congressional districts.”

Four people died during the Jan. 6 riot. Fourteen of the 700 people who have been charged with federal crimes in connection with the insurrection are from Michigan.

A new Ipsos-NPR poll showed more than 60% of Americans believe U.S. democracy is “in crisis and at risk of failing.”

Sharon Dolente, senior advisor for Promote the Vote Michigan, said it is basic voters get accurate information about election security. She noted a appeal is circulating now in Michigan calling for an “audit” she argued is not truly an audit. The proposal said funding supplies for the audit would not be disclosed, and a third-party review board, instead of public election officials, would gain access to voters’ documents.

“Audits must be in public, and they are in the state of Michigan already,” Dolente contended. “Audits must be funded with public dollars, and that is how the audits that are currently being conducted in Michigan are done. So, I really encourage folks to look really closely at any appeal and make sure that they know what they’re signing.”

She additional hundreds of audits were done following the 2020 election, and they have shown the election was conducted fairly with no evidence of extensive fraud or cheating.

Originally published January 7, 2022 on Michigan News Connection. It is shared here with permission.

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