Advance Notice: Briefs

Whitmer issues executive directive expanding voter registration, vetoes more GOP election legislation

By: - May 3, 2022 1:05 pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at Lansing Community College, Feb. 16, 2022 | Laina G. Stebbins

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used the 67th NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner in Detroit Sunday night to announce that she had signed an executive directive to expand voter registration efforts.

Executive Directive 2022-4 directs all state departments and agencies to “identify and assess potential opportunities, consistent with applicable law, to expand the ability of eligible Michiganders to register to vote and gain access to reliable information about voting.” 

Opportunities from printed materials to social media posts will be utilized to disseminate that information, while departments and agencies will need to determine if they can assist with voter registration by distributing vote by mail applications, accept applications for voter registration or help to complete those forms.

Speaking to the crowd that had gathered at Huntington Place, Whitmer said she was proud to join the NAACP to reaffirm their shared commitment to voting rights,

“Earlier today, I signed an executive directive instructing state departments and agencies to identify opportunities to help Michiganders register to vote at their facilities,” said Whitmer. “Right now, we are up against a coordinated national attack on voting rights designed to undermine confidence in our elections and systematically disenfranchise communities of color, seniors, and young people. I will continue to stand up against efforts to strip away people’s rights and work to expand access to the vote so everyone eligible can participate.”  

This is the second straight year that Whitmer has used the Freedom Fund Dinner to highlight legislation. Last year, she announced that she had vetoed three Republican election bills she maintained spread disinformation and suppressed voting.

Whitmer’s veto pen has remained active. On Friday, she used it to reject GOP-led legislation that would have added language to absentee ballot applications stating that it is a felony to vote more than once in the same election. 

In her veto letter of that bill, Whitmer said the bill sought “to restrict or chill access to the ballot.”

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.