FACT CHECK: Does Prop 2 In Michigan Allow Felons To Vote?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook purports Proposition 2 in Michigan would allow imprisoned felons to vote should it be enacted.

Verdict: False

The proposal would allow for multiple changes to the election process, but does not expand voting to felons.

Fact Check:

Polls are open across the country and early vote totals signal a record turnout for this midterm election, U.S. news is reporting. At a recent rally in New York President Joe Biden warned listeners that “Democracy is literally on the ballot,” Reuters has reported.

The Facebook post claims that Michigan’s Proposal 2 ballot question would expand the state’s voting rights to 33,000 prison inmates.

“Prop 2 could give more than 33,000 prison inmates statewide the ability to vote,” the post’s caption claims in part. “Vote NO on Prop 2.” (RELATED: Did Elon Musk Fire Twitter’s Policy Chief Live On Air?)

The claim is inaccurate. The Michigan House Fiscal Agency, a non-partisan agency working with the state’s House of  Representatives, issued a 13-page summary of the proposal. The summary also includes text of the question as it would appear on the ballot.

The agency claims that the proposal would guarantee a “fundamental right to vote” on top of expanded early in-person voting and use of a photo ID to verify voter identity. However, the language does not explicitly say that the right to vote would expand into prisons.

Proposal 22-2 would recognize a fundamental right to vote for all registered and qualified voters. It would prohibit any law, rule, regulation, or other practice or procedure that would deny, abridge, interfere with, or unreasonably burden the right to vote

“A person who, in a court of this or another state or in a federal court, has been legally convicted and sentenced for a crime for which the penalty imposed is confinement in jail or prison shall not vote, offer to vote, attempt to vote, or be permitted to vote at an election while confined,” Michigan law states.

USA Today has also debunked this claim. Richard Hall, a professor at the University of Michigan, told USA Today that the proposal did not change the law about felons participating in elections and would only change sections 4 and 7 of Article II of the state’s constitution, neither of which address felons and voting. 

Check Your Fact contacted the Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and State House Representative Thomas Albert for comment on Prop 2 and will update this piece if a response is provided.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter