Flint pastors criticize Republican bills aimed at changing Michigan election laws | Michigan Radio
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Flint pastors criticize Republican bills aimed at changing Michigan election laws

Apr 12, 2021

“We stand here to say this will not be tolerated,” says Flint Pastor Chris Martin, referring to a Republican package of bills aimed at changing MIchigan election laws
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state Senate elections committee is prepared to take up some voting reform bills Tuesday.

Republicans introduced 39 bills they claim are in response to concerns raised in last year’s defeat of President Donald Trump. The senate Elections and Ethics committee has three of the bills on their agenda this week. 

But critics say the legislation is about “voter suppression”.

But state Senate minority leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) says theses bills are not what Republicans claim.

“We’re going to fight hard to make sure that people understand these bills have nothing to do with the integrity of the ballot box,” says Ananich. “This has...nothing to do with increasing access. This (is) an attack on our voting rights.”

Religious leaders are urging people to attend a noon-hour rally at the state Capitol, a couple hours before the Senate Elections and Ethics committee will consider some Republican election bills.

On Monday, a group of Flint pastors gathered to demonstrate their opposition to the Republican election reform bill package.

Pastor Chris Martin says people need to fight to keep the gains made in voting rights.

“We stand here to say this will not be tolerated,” says Martin. “It will not be allowed to go without a fight.”

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to veto the Republican package of bills.

But the bills’ backers are expected to launch an initiative petition drive to circumvent the governor’s veto and enact the host of new restrictions on voter access.