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Senate passes bill to add further ID requirements for absentee ballots, prevent mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications

Michigan Capitol building in Lansing on a summer day.
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio
The Michigan Capitol building in Lansing.

The battle over how elections are run in Michigan continues.

The GOP-controlled Senate pushed through a bill on Wednesday that would add further ID requirements for absentee ballots, and prevent government officials from mailing out unsolicited absentee ballot applications.

Republican Senator – and former Secretary of State – Ruth Johnson said the added provisions are needed.

“The bills before us today would greatly enhance security and integrity of our elections, or providing appropriate safeguards to protect the rights of voters,” she said.

More than three million people in Michigan voted absentee in last year’s Presidential election, with no evidence of systemic fraud.

Democratic Senator Curtis Hertel wants to know why the GOP is in a rush to pass election legislation.

“When Governor Snyder was elected, no one asked to change those laws. When Donald Trump was elected, no one asked to change those laws," he said. "Now, only now, when you don't like the results, we say, ‘Oh, I questioned the integrity of this election.’”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to veto the legislation once it passes the House.

Republicans changed the wording of the bill right before the vote. It mirrors that of the Secure MI Vote ballot initiative being pushed by conservatives.

If enough signatures are collected, the Legislature could approve it and it could not be vetoed by Whitmer.

Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners.
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