LANSING, Mich. — Firearms could be banned at election venues, according to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Thursday.
The provision, which is part of a Michigan Voting Rights Act, would ban firearms within 100 feet of polling places and other election venues, officials said.
“The time for only thoughts and prayers is over,” Benson said. “The time for taking action to ensure Michiganders are safe – in schools, in grocery stores, in places where we vote and everywhere in between – is now."
"Our kids deserve to go to school free from fear of gun violence," Benson added. "They deserve to go to church or synagogues or mosques with their families to worship free from fear of gun violence. They deserve to live in a democracy where their voices are heard and where they can cast their ballots free from intimidation or threats of violence. That is the world I am fighting for."
The Michigan Voting Rights Act would expand on existing state constitutional protections that voters enacted in 2022 to protect and expand voting rights of Michiganders, officials said.
It proposes to prohibit voter suppression in Michigan, as well as the following:
Benson is anticipated to work on drafting the Act with the input of clerks, voting advocates, and other stakeholders, officials said.
Additionally, she is expected to work directly with state representatives and senators who serve on their respective chamber's election committees, according to officials.
Secretary Benson and lawmakers aim to pass the Michigan Voting Rights Act in 2023, officials said.