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Michigan House adopts voter ID legislation

The Michigan State Capitol.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The GOP-led state House gave final approval Thursday to a bill that would require people to show a photo ID to vote.

Democrats opposed the bill as an unnecessary obstacle to voting.

Representative Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) said it’s an insult to people who fought for voting rights.

“My vote is my voice. My vote is my voice," O'Neal said. "My vote is my voice.”

Representative Helena Scott (D-Detroit) said the bills needlessly cast doubt on the fairness of elections and the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“The answer to the problem is to stop misleading our people and to stop stripping the rights of our American citizens away,” Scott said.

Not true, replied Representative Ann Bollin (R-Brighton Township).

“I can assure you we do have checks and balances in our elections, but I can also stand here and tell you there’s room for improvement,” Bollin said.

Representative Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) said showing an ID is a fact of modern life.

“Somehow that’s going to suppress the vote. But, yet, you need an ID to get a loan, to rent an apartment, get a hunting license, get a fishing license, you want to buy a drink," Johnson said. "In fact, if you want to buy cold medicine, you need an ID to do that. You want to fly in a plane? You need an ID.”

Other bills would ban sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters and would allow people to apply for a free state ID.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will almost certainly veto the voter ID requirement.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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