Michigan ballot initiative proposes law that would remove option to vote without a license

In Michigan, House Republicans passed a series of bills Wednesday night that would enact stricter voter ID law.

Michigan already requires voters to present an ID at their polling locations, but under current law, voters who don’t have an ID when they show up can sign an affidavit affirming their identity and vote. SB 303, was passed by the House along a party-line vote, and would eliminate that option. Now, voters who don’t present an ID on Election Day will have to cast a provisional ballot.

In addition to removing the affidavit ballot option, the House amended SB 303 to require a digital copy of voters’ signatures to be included in the electronic poll book used to process voters at polling locations. Under the bill, election workers will verify voters’ signatures at polling locations. Voters whose signature does not match the one on file will be issued a provisional ballot.

SB 304, which also passed the House along party lines, will allow those provisional ballots only to be counted if a voter goes to his or her local clerk’s office and presents an ID within six days of the election. Earlier versions of the bills were passed in the Senate on June 16. The two bills have since been returned to the Senate.

During a House Elections and Ethics Committee meeting on Wednesday, Committee Chair Ann Bollin, R-Brighton, stated that the current voter ID laws in Michigan lack “safeguards to ensure the voter is who they say they are” (Detroit Free Press).



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