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Newly Signed Bill Will Have Michigan Prisons Registered To Vote Upon Release

#Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill, House Bill 4983, to register individuals leaving Michigan prisons to vote automatically. The legislation, effective from June 30, 2025, ensures that those convicted of a felony regain their voting rights upon release. The bill expands existing laws, requiring coordination between the Secretary of State (SOS) and the Department of Corrections to automatically register eligible individuals who have the option to decline registration.

Advocates argue that restricting voting rights for former inmates hampers their reintegration into society and that expanding these rights correlates with a reduced likelihood of recidivism. Nicole Porter, Senior Director of Advocacy for The Sentencing Project, supports the move, emphasizing its positive impact on community reintegration.

The bill is part of a broader voting reform package signed by Whitmer, which includes measures against deepfakes and artificial intelligence in campaign advertisements. However, concerns have been raised by State Senator Ruth Johnson, who argues that the legislation lacks protection for poll challengers. Additionally, Johnson criticizes the rushed nature of the bills, citing potential unintended consequences and the need for more thorough examination in committee.

Michigan’s F.A.I.R. Voting Alliance sees automatic #voter registration as essential for restoring the voting rights of those who have had them unjustly stripped away. Despite concerns about potential lawsuits, supporters believe the legislation represents a significant step toward ensuring a fair and true democracy in Michigan.

Let us know what you think in the comments.


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