November 8th is just around the corner and voters in several states across the nation will have the opportunity to reinforce one of the most fundamental democratic principles: election integrity.
Proposition 309 in Arizona, Initiative 432 in Nebraska, Issue 2 in Ohio, and Amendment 4 in Alabama are all notable efforts to protect the foundational concepts of our democracy. However, Question 3 in Nevada and Proposal 2 in Michigan are initiatives that, if passed, will undermine election integrity.
In short, Proposition 309 and Initiative 432 are both legislative efforts to strengthen voting requirements in their respective states. Both seek to make the presentation of voter IDs obligatory when voting in person. Long overdue, these measures will put an end to a system where voting illegally is more easily accomplished than buying alcohol or cigarettes illegally.
Ohio’s Issue 2 would serve to bolster a similar fundamental democratic voting principle – citizenship. By prohibiting noncitizens and citizens lacking proper qualifications from voting in local elections, this proposed amendment will ensure that guidelines for local elections align with those of federal elections.
Amendment 4 on the Alabama ballot will require that any new legislation which alters the general election process be implemented at least six months before the next election. This preemptively positioned proposal will defend the political minority from the tyranny of any supermajority in the future. It will prevent any given supermajority from bending the rules by making swift legislative adjustments to the election process for their own electoral benefit.
Nevada’s Question 3 and Michigan’s Proposal 2, however, both represent a tremendous threat to election integrity. If passed, Question 3 will impose open top-five primaries and ranked-choice voting for general elections. This initiative would undercut a state party’s ability to appoint their own candidate. Top Democrats argue the measure would be “onerous for voters and muddle the state’s electoral process.”
Finally, Proposal 2 on the ballot in Michigan is perhaps the greatest risk to election integrity this November. The abhorrent proposal aims to add several election and voting policies to the state constitution. These amendments include requiring early voting, implementing no-excuse absentee voting, and prohibiting compulsory ID verification. Additionally, local governments would be able to accept donations toward election operations. These are the most major examples, but there are several more. Since this proposal is a constitutional amendment, the legislature could not change these rules without referring to another amendment to the constitution to voters. This is a wish list designed to undermine election security and will undermine Michiganders’ right to vote if passed.
Election integrity, one of the most basic principles of any democracy, will be on ballots across the nation this November. Americans must remain united in our efforts to establish fair and secure state elections. By doing so we ensure the historic liberties of American democracy last for generations to come.