Analysis of Proposal 3 – Progressives vs. Conservatives. Last in a series.

Here is Proposal 3 as it will appear on the ballot:

This proposed constitutional amendment would allow a United States citizen who is qualified to vote in Michigan to:

·        Become automatically registered to vote when applying for, updating or renewing a driver’s license or state-issued personal identification card, unless the person declines.

·        Simultaneously register to vote with proof of residency and obtain a ballot during the 2-week period prior to an election, up to and including Election Day.

·        Obtain an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.

·        Cast a straight-ticket vote for all candidates of a particular political party when voting in a partisan general election.

Should this proposal be adopted?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO[4]

The complete text from Ballotpedia is part way through its analysis of the proposal. 

Progressives will like this proposal since it makes it easier for everyone to vote. Too easy. And more chance for abuse. Keep reading…

Some features everyone should like. For example, the provision for absentee ballots to be sent to overseas military personnel and expatriates at least 45 days before an election. This could be passed by the legislature with a large bipartisan consensus. Some of the other provisions (secret ballot, for example) are already part of our election laws. Why do we need to put them in this great framework we call our constitution? Here is an excerpt from the constitutional amendment:

(A) The right, once registered, to vote a secret ballot in all elections.

(B) The right, if serving in the military or living overseas, to have an absent voter ballot sent to them at least forty-five (45) days before an election upon application.”

Motor voter laws are ripe for abuse. Voting is a right and a privilege. Will proof of citizenship be required? This could be added because the proposal is vague on that point. Same for same-day voter registration. “Would you like a ride to the polls?” There will naturally be a discussion of politics in the car on the way. So the voter will be unduly influenced by the driver. “Just pull the Democrat / Republican lever. All their candidates are good. Most of them are challengers. We need to vote the bums out of office.”

Voter fraud can happen more easily with early voting and no-questions asked absentee voting. Who really filled out that ballot? Someone with dementia or their caregiver?

Funding for this proposal is also very lop-sided. Nearly $5,000,000 has been raised by the Yes supporters and only $270,000 to prevent this constitutional amendment. This is a ratio of 18:1. More than half of the Yes funding came from the ACLU.

In general, ballot proposals should be voted “no” unless there is a compelling reason to vote “yes.” Because proposals are usually written by those favoring the proposal, there is no chance for an amendment, just an up or down vote by the people. The average voter is uninformed about complicated political issues; that’s why we elect representatives whose job it is to handle these things for us.

Constitutional amendments are especially problematic, since they cannot be repealed by the legislature, but only by another ballot proposal. A proper approach, in my opinion, is to reserve constitutional amendments for things that the people want but the legislature cannot be trusted to do. For example: congressional term limits. This way the structure of the Constitution stays pretty much the same, and we end up with a framework within which “we the people” can be sovereign again. The legislature can pass laws within this framework.

The Michigan recreational marijuana proposal is one example of a lopsided proposal. Like many ballot proposals, this 14 page proposal written by legalization advocates would have slim chance of passing in the legislature. Why bother collecting thousands of signatures if you could just lobby your representatives? Because you can play to the ignorance of the people offering a proposal with no chance for the modifications it would receive if introduced as a bill in the legislature. If you could even get a majority in favor of it in principle.

Incremental improvements like decriminalization personal possession of small amounts of pot might be a good start. We do not need another vice which is prone to addiction. Alcohol causes enough damage. We don’t need another substance that is unsafe for driving. We already have alcohol and distracted driving. (Put down your cellphone, save that text for later and drive!)

Can the legislature be trusted to handle voting laws, gerrymandering and marijuana regulation / legalization without constitutional amendments? I think the answer to those questions is Perhaps.

If not (e.g., term limits, gerrymandering), they should be fixed with a law on a ballot proposal rather than a constitutional amendment. Therefore I am voting No on all three proposals. Whatever your opinion on these three proposals, please join me in protecting Michigan’s Constitution by voting No on them.

Thank you for reading my election articles and considering my opinions…

Other articles

In previous blog posts, I began telling the story of my brain tumor and the depression which followed it. The second article in the series described my faith in God which sustained me through both trials.

Having recently started a word-by-word translation of Martin Luther’s Bible from German to English, I introduced the project and published Matthew Chapter 1 . Later I wrote commentary on it; my church background and theological training is in my USA Melting Pot bio.
Dale Murrish writes on historytraveltechnologyreligion and politics for the USA Melting Pot club, LinkedIn, and Troy Patch. On the USA Melting Pot website are over a dozen ethnic presentations from people with firsthand knowledge under Culture & Country (right hand side), and outdoor presentations (Hobby & Fun), including posts on bicycling, skiing and camping.

Other interesting articles on the USA Melting Pot website have been written by Bilal Rathur on his hajj to Saudi Arabia (Part 6) and by Carl Petersen. Thanks to both of them for their contributions.