ACLU: Michigan voter ID bill and what you can do to help today/this weekend


As you are aware, a strict voter ID bill is currently being rammed through the Michigan legislature. It has passed the House and will be considered by the Senate next week. The bill will be before the Senate Elections Committee on Tuesday, and it could reach the Senate floor potentially as early as that day, or on Wednesday or Thursday (the last day of session). I am told that it would be most effective if pressure were applied directly to certain key Senators (listed below), through an avalanche of both e-mails and phone calls. Also, note that all State Senators in Michigan are up for reelection in 2018.

Michigan voter IDs are issued out of the SOS branch offices (, not the DMV, and I am told that Senators from rural areas may be particularly moved by communications from constituents (or others) describing the difficulties of travelling to the remote SOS office especially if they are only open during limited hours. Of course, constituents and others should feel free to include any other argument against voter IDs, reminding them about the disproportionate impact that these laws have on racial minorities, including the fact that nearly half of the 18,000 votes cast by affidavit were from Wayne County, which is about 40% African American (compared to 14% statewide), or any other written materials about the disparate impact of voter ID laws. Note that the bill does not require ID for mail-in absentee ballots, and in Michigan anyone age 60 years or older or persons with disabilities (persons “unable to vote without assistance at the polls”) can vote absentee, but emphasizing the importance to many elderly persons or persons with disabilities of being able to cast a ballot in person may also be helpful.

Because the Senate Committee meeting has not been formally scheduled yet, written comments cannot yet be sent to the committee clerk for inclusion in the record (that probably will not happen until Monday at which point I can let folks know), but comments can of course be made directly to the Senators right now.

Senate Elections Committee

  • David Robertson (R) Committee Chair, 14th District, 517-373-1636,
  • Patrick Colbeck (R) Vice Chair, 7th District, 517-373-7350,
  • Judy K Emmons (R) 33rd District, 517-373-3760,
  • Mike Shirkey (R) 16th District, 517-373-5932,
  • Morris W Hood III (D) Minority Vice Chair, 3rd District, 517-373-0990,

Senators with rural districts (In order of priority)
District 38 – Tom Casperson, 517-373-7840,
District 37 – Wayne Schmidt, 517-373-2413,
District 36 – Jim Stamas, 517-373-7946,
District 35 – Darwin Booher, 517-373-1725,
District 19 – Mike Nofs, 517-373-2426,
District 26 – Tonya Schuitmaker, 517-373-0793,
District 34 – Goeff Hansen, 517-373-1635,
District 33 – Judy Emmons, 517-373-3760,
District 31 – Mike Green, 517-373-1777,
District 21 – John Proos, 517-373-6960,
District 25 – Phil Pavlov, 517-373-7708,
District 16 – Mike Shirkey, 517-373-5932,
District 17 – Dale Zorn, 517-373-3543,

Voting Rights Project