House Bill Prioritizes the Rights of Election Challengers Above Voters and Election Workers

News from Promote the Vote

October 19, 2021

House Bill Prioritizes the Rights of Election Challengers Above Voters and Election Workers

MICHIGAN – Today, the House Elections and Ethics Committee will take testimony on HB 5335, a bill that would prioritize the rights of election challengers above both voters and election workers and would create unnecessary, time-consuming work for already-stretched poll workers.

Among other things, HB 5335 would require a challenger to wear a “Challenger” badge, but it prohibits the badge from containing the challenger’s name or political party. Thus, HB 5335 essentially prevents a voter from knowing the critical information needed to report intimidation or harassment by the challenger. In response, Shira Roza, voting rights manager for Promote the Vote, released the following statement:

“HB 5335, like so many bills that we’ve seen come through the Michigan legislature this year, is an anti-voter bill, pure and simple. It fails to protect voters or election workers from intimidation, may itself create voter intimidation, and burdens election officials with additional unnecessary tasks.

“While Promote the Vote believes that our election challenger system can – and should – be improved, HB 5335 only adds to its problems by allowing election challengers to remain anonymous. At a time when intimidation of voters and election officials has skyrocketed, any changes must focus on protecting and supporting voters and election workers, and not on empowering challengers to disrupt the process. Voters have a right to know who is sending challengers into their precinct and who has sanctioned these challengers’ actions.”

Promote the Vote previously submitted written testimony to both the Senate Elections Committee and the House Elections and Ethics Committee regarding several other challenger-related bills, including SB 279, SB 290, and HB 4897. These bills, like HB 5335, would also lead to voter intimidation and would make it more difficult for election officials to perform their duties.

This testimony and others can be found on Promote the Vote’s website: 


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