Irwin Introduces No Reason Absentee Voting Plan

Legislation aims to give more working residents opportunity to cast ballot
Monday, April 4, 2011

LANSING - In a move to increase voter participation, State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) recently introduced a plan that has strong bipartisan support and allows any Michigan resident to vote by absentee ballot without giving a reason.

“Increasing voter turnout is crucial to maintaining a healthy democracy,” Irwin said. “We should do everything we can to ensure that every voter who wants to vote has that opportunity to exercise their rights and hold lawmakers accountable. This plan has strong bipartisan support and will simply make it easier for people to vote.”

Under Irwin’s plan, any Michigan resident will be allowed to vote by absentee ballot without giving a reason.

Currently, Michigan residents are only allowed to vote by absentee ballot if they expect to be absent from the community in which they are registered on Election Day, are physically unable to make it to the polls without assistance, cannot make it to the polls due to their religious beliefs, have been appointed election precinct inspector in a precinct other than their home precinct, are age 60 or older, or are incarcerated awaiting trial or arraignment.

“People shouldn’t be denied their right to vote simply because they can’t make it to the polls,” Irwin said. “We all benefit when more people participate in our electoral process. This plan will update our laws to address the challenges that prevent people from getting to the polls.”