The Michigan House of Representatives today passed two bills to safeguard voters, poll workers, and polling places from gun violence. The legislation would ban guns at or near polling places, early voting sites, ballot drop boxes, and locations where absentee ballots are counted. If the bills become law, Michigan would join 18 states and the District of Columbia that currently prohibit open carry at polling sites and 8 states and the District of Columbia that currently ban open carry at drop boxes, as identified in a September report by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law and GIFFORDS Law Center.
Sean Morales-Doyle, director of the Voting Rights Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, had the following comment:
"Today we applaud the Michigan House for taking action to keep guns away from voting and election administration.
"Most states lack basic protections for voters and election workers from gun violence at and around voting and vote-counting sites. Today’s votes show that Michigan lawmakers are moving in the right direction with commonsense legislation to protect voters and election workers.
"American elections are, by and large, safe. But the Michiganders who help administer elections have been subject to threats and intimidation. Regulating guns near voting is necessary, and it’s constitutional, as the U.S. Supreme Court noted in 2022. Michigan’s voters deserve urgent action, and the Michigan House has given them that.”
- Guns and Voting, Brennan Center for Justice and GIFFORDS Law Center (September 2023)
- “How States Can Prevent Election Subversion in 2024 and Beyond,” Brennan Center for Justice (September 2023)
- “Threats to Elections Didn’t End on January 6,” Brennan Center for Justice (August 2023)
- “Poll of Election Officials Shows High Turnover Amid Safety Threats and Political Interference,” Brennan Center for Justice (April 2023)