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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Blame Big John

   If the prognosticators are right and we see a record turn out at the polls this week, the question is, how long are you willing to stand in line?And while you are shuffling your feet back and forth you're going to wonder why Michigan doesn't have early voting when 30 some states do. 
    Darn good question, and here's the darn good answer.
     Allowing early voting is an election reform and Michigan's record on election reform is pretty awful thanks to republicans.
     Going back to Secretary of State Candice Miller, over six years ago, she advocated for no-reason absentee voting. Currently only a handful of citizens can legally vote early through an antiquated absentee voting system.
     But republican Miller and her successor Terri Lynn Land failed at convincing enough GOP lawmakers to cough up the votes to extend the option to everyone.  Blame former Gov. John Engler.
     When he ruled the roost, he refused to give his blessing.  The fear was not grounded in some high-minded philosophical argument, but in crass politics instead.
     Engler figured there were more democrats in this state and if you allowed more citizens to vote, do the math, more republicans would lose.  So he sat on the reforms and even though he is not in town anymore, other R's have taken up his mantra and blocked each and every attempt to revamp the system.
    Maybe if enough citizens are stuck in line this week, maybe they will get on the horn and pressure those republicans to do the right thing.
    Don't hold your breath!


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