Mayor Sheldon Neeley helps lead coalition of Black mayors calling for an end to voter suppression efforts in Lansing

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LANSING, Michigan—Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley today helped lead a coalition of Black mayors who called on lawmakers to reject voter suppression efforts introduced in the state Senate under the guise of election reform.

Mayor Neeley and Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad also met privately today with Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist to discuss the impact of the 39-bill package introduced by Michigan Republicans.

“These proposals are un-American and an attack on our fundamental right to vote,” Mayor Neeley said. “We are proud to have Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist join our efforts and be a leading voice against all efforts to create undue burdens for voters.” 

The meeting with Gilchrist was part of outreach that coincided with a press conference today on the Capitol steps by a coalition of Michigan black mayors.

The coalition of mayors also delivered an open letter to lawmakers introduced by Mayor Neeley urging them to reject the proposals. Among the lowlights of the proposed legislation: 

  • — Prohibit the Secretary of State from mailing absentee ballot applications or posting absentee ballot applications on the website. 
  • — Voters without a driver’s license or other government-issued ID would get a “provisional ballot” that would not be counted unless the voter proves their identity.
  • — Forbid communities from receiving grants and other funding to help cover the costs of elections.
  • — Abolish existing Boards of Canvassers and require counties with a population of more than 200,000 to appoint new 6-member boards. In counties with a population over 750,000, 8-member boards would be required. 

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