We’ve known this day was coming for a long time but now it is upon us. Republicans in the Michigan state senate are poised to take up three voter suppression bills tomorrow, June 16th, and urgent action is needed. As one state senator I spoke with put it, “We need to flood the Republican phone lines.”
Here are summaries of all three bills from the non-partisan Senate Fiscal Agency:
Senate Bill 285 would amend the Michigan Election Law to do the following:
- Require an applicant for an absentee ballot to present an original or copy of identification to the clerk of the city or township in which the elector was registered or attach a copy of the identification to his or her application.
- Require the clerk or assistant clerk to issue an applicant a provisional absentee ballot if the applicant could not present or attach identification to his or her application.
- Require a statement describing the identification requirement to be included in the instructions for applicants for absent voter ballots.
- Require an applicant for an absentee ballot who was an absent uniformed services voter, overseas voter, or an applicant for an emergency absentee ballot to include a copy of his or her identification with his or her application.
- Require provisional absentee ballots issued under the bill to be processed in the same way as a provisional ballot would be processed currently under the Law.
Senate Bill 303 would amend the Michigan Election Law to do the following:
- Remove references to an affidavit that an elector may sign if he or she does not have identification for election purposes.
- Require an elector without identification to be issued a provisional ballot that would be processed in the manner prescribed under Section 523a of the Law.
- Remove language pertaining to affidavit reports that must be transmitted to both the county clerk and the Secretary of State (SOS).
Senate Bill 304 would amend the Michigan Election Law to do the following:
- Specify that a notice provided to an elector who was issued a provisional ballot would have to indicate that the ballot would be tabulated only if the voter verified his or her voter registration record with the clerk by presenting identification and specified documents within six days after the election.
- Require the notice to include information stating that certain individuals would be eligible to have the fee waived for obtaining an official State personal identification card.
- Prohibit the tabulation of a provisional ballot unless a valid voter registration for that elector could be verified by the elector or if the identity and residence of the elector could be established using identification or identification and other documentation.
As usual, these actions are solutions without a problem. Michigan already has a voter ID requirement and our elections are as secure as any in the nation.
PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR TODAY! and urge them to vote against all three bills. You can look up contact information for your state senator on THIS PAGE.