Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) submitted testimony in opposition to S.B. 273 in Michigan. There will be a hearing for the bill at 12pm on February 1, 2022. The restrictive voting bill (S.B. 273) would impose new requirements and require sweeping approval mandates on absentee voting dropboxes throughout the state. Most concerningly, S.B. 273 would require that every existing or proposed dropbox be approved by the county board of canvassers. The four-person county boards are split evenly (2-2) along partisan lines by state law, and have grown increasingly politicized since the 2020 election. Since the boards require at least three affirmative votes to take any action, this bill would create a mechanism for two canvassers belonging to any one political party to inappropriately veto drop boxes in their county – and to require the removal of any and all existing drop boxes. If passed, SB 273 would likely result in a drastic reduction of the availability of drop boxes in Michigan, especially in places like Wayne County, where we have seen accusations of non-existent “voter fraud” and racist rhetoric wielded by those seeking to prevent Detroit residents from voting, or from having their votes counted.
Read the full testimony here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.