HomeMichiganMichigan voters take a stand on the absentee vote, the governor’s race
Michigan voters take a stand on the absentee vote, the governor’s race
November 2, 2022
LANSING – For Richard Peluso, a Republican living in Troy, appearing in elections on election day is part of the civic duty, unless voters have good reasons why they cannot.
For Oak Park resident Michelle Spencer, a Democrat who remembers waiting in line for hours to vote for former President Barack Obama in 2008, attacks on early voting and voting are absent in many cases an attempt to inconvenience and deprive urban residents, especially blacks voters.
And for Julie Gavigan of Livonia, an independent voter who has been struggling with who to back in the Governorate of Michigan race since Tuesday, whether voting absent or elected, it is largely a matter of personal preference, especially for current health problems related to COVID-19.
Three Michigan voters were interviewed by Free Press as part of a special election program on Detroit Public Television’s One Detroit, which airs on Thursday at 7pm.
Each of them has views on the vote that reflect national trends. Democrats overwhelmingly support early voting and a vote absent for whatever reason, but Republican support for these electoral characteristics is declining.
A study by the Pew Research Center in 2021 found 84% of Democrats support an absentee vote for any reason, a percentage that has remained roughly unchanged since 2018. But the survey found that only 38% of Republicans support the practice , compared with 57% in 2018. Voters who disagreed clearly with any political party were more evenly divided on the issue.
Michigan voters approved a vote that was absent for any reason in a 2018 referendum, and November 8 will be the first Michigan governor election in which this function is available. Technically, Michigan does not have an early ballot with polls open in the days leading up to election day. But citizens can vote in person in an absentee vote, prior to election day, at the local official’s office.
Polls show a growing race between Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is running for a second four-year term, and Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, who on Tuesday garnered substantial support from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the most powerful lobby group in the state. Many voters who view Whitmer and Dixon differently also disagree about how and when people should be allowed to vote.
For Peluso, who retired from a company that provided corporations with online modules to train employees, the vote of those absent for whatever reason increased along with his concerns about the fairness of the elections. He said he saw elections as a form of civic duty and a way to get to know your neighbors. Peluso, who turns 75 this year, said that even at the height of the pandemic, he and his wife masked themselves and voted in person.
“I think we’ve downgraded the entire voting process a bit by increasing the time you can vote,” said Peluso.
“It’s not that I disagree with Absenteeism, which is to be used in the right way. Military abroad or infirm, sick and such situations. it just makes me a bit concerned about the effectiveness and legitimacy of casting this kind of vote. ‘
Peluso feels that the economy and its retirement investments have raged under former President Donald Trump, and things took a sharp turn as soon as President Joe Biden took office. He believes that excessive federal spending, including universal stimulus controls and the partial cancellation of student loan debt, are the main causes of sustained inflation. And at the state level, she feels that Whitmer has “made a mistake” by ordering the shutdown of too many companies during the pandemic for too long and has shown arrogance by not always following the COVID-19 rules imposed by her own administration.
More:Your guide to Michigan voting proposals for the 2022 elections.
More:Michigan state candidates for governor: where Gretchen Whitmer and Tudor Dixon stand
Spencer, a retired Democrat, said Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of fraud related to the 2020 presidential election were ridiculous, but did not surprise her, as Trump had already accused him of cheating before the elections. She said that attempts to limit absentee voting disproportionately harm city dwellers, as it is these citizens who will most likely have to queue and wait for a vote on election day.
“If you can scare the Democratic votes away, who will win?” Spencer asked. “All of this is done on purpose.”
She said she was voting to be absent from the November 8 elections because it was much easier than standing in line and also because it was safe too.
Spencer is a Catholic, and abortion rights are a major concern for her in the Governor’s race between Whitmer, who supports these rights, and Dixon, who doesn’t. Spencer said abortions will take place regardless of what the law says, so they’d better be legal and safe.
“No old man somewhere in the office should be able to tell me what I can do with my own body,” she said.
Gavigan, who considers herself “in the middle” politically but leaning towards a conservative on economic issues, said she did not spend much time worrying about fraud allegations that had been made in connection with the 2020 elections but has hope that increased scrutiny will mean that any shortcomings will be remedied by 2022.
The claims have been investigated and “there is no need to hold them again,” said Gavigan. “It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money and time.” He hopes that the charges brought around 2020 will result in more control and balance and more transparency in the current elections.
Gavigan said she would vote absent mainly because she has relatives and others with whom she comes in contact who are immunocompromised and unwilling to do anything that unnecessarily puts them at risk.
Following the election of governor, Gavigan, who has two daughters, said she remained torn, even after watching both the debates between Whitmer and Dixon.
She said she did not support Dixon’s position on abortion as she believed that any prohibition of abortion should include exceptions for cases of rape and incest. She said she would vote for Proposition 3, and if she knew it would pass, she would be more likely to vote for Dixon knowing that she would then not be able to impose a strict abortion ban in Michigan.
As for Whitmer, Gavigan is concerned about both pandemic money and social services that usually go to people who don’t need it, who she believes are cheating the system.
She also has concerns about Whitmer’s 2018 signature promising to “fix the damn roads,” she said.
“I do not agree with fixing all roads at once, I believe it should be done systematically so that we can at least maneuver in some way where everyone is not confused and in a hurry.”
Contact Paul Egan at 517-372-8660 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ paulegan4.