Center for American Progress

A blueprint for democracy: What America can learn from Michigan’s reforms
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A blueprint for democracy: What America can learn from Michigan’s reforms

Greta Bedekovics and Ashleigh Maciolek argue that Michigan has become a national model for strengthening democracy.

In recent years, nearly half of states have enacted policies that make it more difficult for Americans to exercise their fundamental right to vote and make their voices heard. While these efforts persist, states like Michigan are moving in the opposite direction — expanding access to the ballot and increasing democratic representation.

Michigan voters have approved several transformative reforms over the past five years that have increased voter participation and representation and made the state a blueprint for strengthening democracy. At a time when public faith in elections, democracy and government is near historic lows across the country, Michigan voters have shown that a different course can be charted, even as commonsense election reforms have been politicized and discredited by many federal and state officials.

The key to Michigan’s success has been the passage of a series of citizen-driven ballot proposals to amend the state constitution — two in 2018 and one in 2022. Through these proposals, voters approved no-excuse mail-in voting, ballot drop-box standards, automatic and same-day voter registration, early in-person voting, and an independent redistricting commission.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Hill. Click here to view the full article.

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Greta Bedekovics

Associate Director

Ashleigh Maciolek

Former Research Associate


Democracy Policy

The Democracy Policy team is advancing an agenda to win structural reforms that strengthen the U.S. system and give everyone an equal voice in the democratic process.

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