Ban on use of donated space as polling places is questioned

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Clerks and other opponents of a ballot initiative to toughen Michigan’s voting rules are concerned about its proposed ban on using donated spaces as polling places, saying churches and religious organizations account for 20% of them.

Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy group, said Wednesday 664 of 3,355 polling places in 2020 were places of worship or similar religious spaces. Clerks say they will face additional costs if the Republican-led Legislature adopts the initiative, for which signatures are being gathered.

The provision appears to be a response to $400 million donated by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife to help fund election offices nationwide as they dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.

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