Michigan House passes GOP-led bills to make voter ID laws stricter

Michigan House passes GOP-led bills to make voter ID laws stricter

Election officials, poll watchers and challengers monitor the counting of Grand Rapids absentee ballots at DeVos Place on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (Cory Morse | MLive.com) LANSING, MI — The Michigan House passed a controversial election bill Thursday that would add steps for voters without an ID and ban election officials from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications. Both bills were approved Thursday afternoon in a 56-51 party-line vote. Together, SB 303 and SB 304 would require voters to take additional steps to have their ballot count if they don’t have an ID. The other bill in the package, HB 5007 , which was already passed by the chamber, would eliminate fees for getting or renewing an official state personal ID card. SB 303 and 304 passed the Michigan Senate last week amid contentious debate. Michigan already has voter ID laws in place to safeguard against the type of illegal activity Republicans say their constituents tell them they’re worried about. Currently, voters without ID are allowed to cast a ballot by swearing to their identity with an affidavit. SB 303 and 304 would take away that option. Voters without ID would instead cast a provisional ballot that wouldn’t count until they prove their identity with their local clerk within six days of an election. A substitute added to the bill would allow voters to submit their birth certificate, social security number or bank statement to their local clerk in order for their ballot to be counted. Republicans insisted Thursday — […]

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