June 16, 2021
June 16, 2021
Today, Michigan Senate Democrats opposed common-sense election reforms that would increase election security and voter accessibility in Michigan. Despite the partisan pushback, Senate Republicans voted to ensure every Michigander’s vote is protected by the security of a state identification.
During the Senate Floor Session, Democrats made over the top and inaccurate claims of racism, going as far as comparing these basic election security measures to voter suppression. This is despite the fact that Michigan voters overwhelmingly support these reforms, and former Democrat President Jimmy Carter led a commission on election reform, which called for voter ID laws.
The bills passed out of the Senate today address concerns over absentee ballot security, requiring individuals requesting an absentee ballot to show their state ID, provide the last 4-digits of their Social Security number, or their drivers’ license number.
These bills have become vitally important, as Michigan has seen its top elections official, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, undermine election security, creating new vulnerabilities that unnecessarily expose our elections to potential fraud. In 2020, Benson issued new guidance to clerks across the state instructing them to dumb-down the signature verification process on absentee ballots. Benson’s guidance was struck down by State Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray in March of this year, The Detroit News reported.
“Today’s antics from Senate Democrats were a disgraceful show of partisanship, all in opposition to an election reform package widely supported by Michiganders, and whose need was hastened by Jocelyn Benson’s failures as our state’s top elections official,” ” said Eric Ventimiglia, executive director for Michigan Rising Action. Ventimiglia continued, “Senate Republicans should be commended for securing our elections and increasing accessibility to all voters, taking a significant step forward in undoing the damage done to Michigan election integrity by Jocelyn Benson.”
Additional proposals to be considered by the Senate provide Michigan voters with more accessibility to voting, eliminating potential barriers. The package would remove the financial burden from obtaining a state ID, as well as cut the red tape when trying to procure vital documents needed to obtain an ID. The bills would also provide information to high school students on how to obtain a state ID, helping ensure that future generations of Michiganders have everything they need to vote and conduct other important business requiring an ID.