Right-Wing Governor Surprises Everyone by Vetoing Voter Suppression Laws

Apparently Chief Justice John Robert is not the only Republican with a newfound liberal streak.

Saying, "voting rights are precious," Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan Tuesday vetoed a package of voter suppression laws passed intended to police voter registration drives and require voters affirm their citizenship before their ballot would be counted. Snyder said both measures could cause confusion. 

"Voting rights are precious and we need to work especially hard to make it possible for people to vote," Snyder's veto message said.

Michael Slater, Executive Director of Project Vote, which organizes voter registration drives, commended the decision.

“Governor Snyder is to be congratulated for doing right by Michigan voters and taking an important stand against the current onslaught of voter suppression laws," he said. "These laws would have expanded unnecessary voter ID requirements and imposed unfair requirements and restrictions on voter registration drives, making it harder for eligible Michigan citizens to participate in our democracy."

"With this veto, Governor Snyder set Michigan apart from too many other states that have passed suppressive voting laws. From voter ID requirements in Pennsylvania, to attacks on voter registration in Florida and Texas, the current trend has been to suppress, not empower, American voters. With an estimated 51 million eligible Americans still not registered to vote, such laws represent a major step in the wrong direction." 

Snyder previously said that he opposed laws that disenfranchise eligible voters, Slater said.

"Today he proved to be a man of his word, taking action to protect the rights of eligible Michigan residents to register, vote, and cast a ballot that counts." 

Imagine if other GOP governors had confidence in the electorate's ability to make decisions, as opposed to gaming the rules to tilt the outcome.



AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld

Posted at July 3, 2012, 1:14pm

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