Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”) submitted written testimony to the Michigan Senate expressing opposition to S.B. 284, S.B. 285, S.B. 289, S.B. 303 & S.B. 310, five voting bills that would restrict access to the ballot box. S.B. 285 and S.B. 303 would impose far stricter voter identification requirements and extend them into the absentee voting process. If enacted, these two bills would place unnecessary burdens on Michiganders’ constitutional right to vote and would likely disenfranchise a disproportionate number of Black Michiganders. S.B. 303 would remove the mitigating provision in Michigan’s existing voter ID law that allows in-person voters to cast a regular ballot if they attest in an affidavit that they are not in possession of photo identification. Instead, their only option would be to cast a provisional ballot. S.B. 285 would extend these restrictive voter ID requirements to absentee voting. S.B. 310 would prohibit the Secretary of State from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to registered voters, and even ban the Secretary of State from posting the absentee ballot application or including a link to it on the Secretary of State website.  If enacted, S.B. 310 would impose an unnecessary step between eligible Michiganders and their constitutional right to vote absentee, potentially violating the Michigan Constitution. S.B. 289 and S.B. 284 would set restrictions on private and federal funding for elections that would disproportionally impact majority-Black cities like Detroit and Flint, and prevent them from accessing funds needed to conduct their elections.

Read the full written 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. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.