Michigan voter rights proposal will be on November ballot, high court rules

A ballot initiative that would expand voting rights and establish early voting in Michigan will be on the November ballot, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

After a state canvassing board rejected the petition in a 2-2 deadlock vote during a review of ballot initiatives, the high court overturned the decision.

The Michigan Right To Vote Initiative came under scrutiny from opponents of the effort that argued it failed to properly state how the proposal - if approved - would affect the state constitution. Republicans and Democrats debated the issue during a procedural meeting at the Board of State Canvassers on Aug. 31. It was the first of two deadlock votes that day. Canvassers also rejected a voting initiative on abortion rights the same day.

Promote the Vote, which oversaw the signature collection for the initiative appealed the decision soon after.

The proposal outlines a series of changes to the state constitution that would expand voting rights in Michigan. Those changes include increasing absentee ballot access and allow people to vote with a photo ID, signed affidavit, or matching voter registration signatures.

The proposal would also be required to make absentee ballot drop boxes more available.

A decision from the state Supreme Court was expected Thursday, a day before voters' ballots needed to be finalized ahead of clerks mailing out absentee ballots.