Whitmer Vetoes Bills Toughening Voter ID Requirements

Bills that would require voters to show identification when voting in person, supply identity verification information when voting absentee and make state IDs available for free to low-income persons were vetoed Friday by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Senate Bills 303 and 304 would have removed the current voter identification system, where voters can either show photo ID or sign a sworn statement attesting to their identity. Instead, voters without ID would be given a provisional ballot that would only count if they returned to their clerk’s office to verify their identity within six days after the election.

Absentee voters when applying for a ballot would have had to for the first time provide either their driver’s license number or official state personal identification number, the last four digits of their Social Security number or an original or copy of identification to their local clerk. Those failing to do so would be given a provisional ballot.

Further, the bill would have barred the secretary of state and local clerks from sending an absentee voter ballot application to a voter unless the voter had requested one. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and several clerks mass mailed absentee ballot applications to all voters during the 2020 elections.

Also vetoed was HB 5007 , which would have deleted the $10 charge for each original or renewal of an official state ID card, among related items.

In vetoing the bills, which critics have called a sop to Republican voters convinced – despite no evidence – that fraud decided the 2020 election, Ms. Whitmer said there is no evidence of those voting after signing an affidavit instead of showing ID have committed fraud. She also said the bills would disproportionately harm people of color.

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