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Opposition raises $2.5M to fight Michigan GOP voting changes

Voting booths photo
Wikipedia
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Voting booths

Protect MI Vote received the funding from Sixteen Thirty Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based group backed by anonymous donors on the left

A Michigan group has raised $2.5 million from a liberal nonprofit to fight a Republican-backed ballot drive that would toughen voter ID requirements, ban the unsolicited mailing of absentee ballot applications and make other election changes.

Protect MI Vote received the funding from Sixteen Thirty Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based group backed by anonymous donors on the left, according to a report filed with the state Monday. Protect MI Vote had spent nearly $1.6 million as of last week, mostly to pay FieldWorks — a company working to defeat the initiative.

Secure MI Vote, which recently began circulating petitions, does not have to submit its campaign-finance statement until Nov. 2. If the ballot committee collects roughly 340,000 valid voter signatures, the GOP-led Legislature can enact the changes into law without Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature.

She will soon veto similar legislation passed by Republican lawmakers.

FieldWorks’ website says it is opening offices in Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Troy. It is paying $20 to $22 an hour.

The Michigan Democratic Party is encouraging people to decline to sign the petition and to call a hotline to alert Protect MI Vote of circulators’ whereabouts.