Election Day of Grace; Approve the Suspension on Non-Violent Warrants for Nov. 3rd

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!

Historically, African Americans have been the victims of unjust treatment while casting their ballots. In the city of Benton Harbor a form of voter suppression has emerged. This looming threat involves the threat of a militia presence from known white supremacists interested in coming to Benton Harbor High School on election day. Our high school is a main voting location for multiple precincts.  Individuals with outstanding nonviolent warrants who wish to exercise their rights to vote at that particular precinct are faced with a dilemma which involves fears associated with police presence coupled with the possibilities of militia interference. Even if the increase in police presence is indicated to address the militia, the threat of arrest may inadvertently deter voter participation. In addition to those conditions, administrative delays in court processing due to COVID 19 shutdowns have caused an influx of overwhelming uncertainty for nonviolent offenders along with failed resolutions for those living in the city with known and unknown outstanding warrants assigned to them. 

Although the nation’s leaders have recently acknowledged mass incarceration as a concrete symptom of structural racism, they have yet to provide a sweeping remedy that addresses nonviolent offenses. Coupling those historic dilemmas in conjunction with the outside threats of known white supremacists considering Benton Harbor as an election day stop, lends itself to inevitable perceived voter suppression. To alleviate any deterrence from the polls on election day, we are requesting the following: 

On November 3, the  City of Benton Harbor Commission shall approve an Election Day of Grace resolution that will order law enforcement to suspend nonviolent related outstanding warrant arrests for persons at or around polling stations.

Most of us believe everyone counts, no matter our race, accent or zip code. However certain politicians are stowing chaos and stoking fear hoping it will stop us from voting. But we’re onto them and we count on us. In Michigan, we are turning out in record numbers to show that everyone counts, ensure everyone’s vote is counted, and swear in a government of, by and for the people. However, the integrity of our election is at risk. Starting off as a local initiative, we hope that this Election Day of Grace will one day be implemented statewide. 

Please sign the petition to help ensure that we all have access to a fair safe election process.