Michigan Senate Republicans Push Through Sweeping Changes to State’s Election Laws 

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Image credit: Laura Herberg/WDET

​The legislation would add further I.D. requirements for absentee voting and prohibit the Secretary of State from mailing out unsolicited absentee ballot applications.

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The battle over how elections are run in Michigan continues.   

Michigan Senate Republicans on Wednesday passed election legislation that would add further I.D. requirements for absentee ballots and prohibit the Secretary of State and clerks from mailing out unsolicited absentee ballot applications.   

The bill’s wording was changed at the last minute and was not made available to the public until right before the vote.  

Most of these policies that we’re discussing, these ideas are not new. They didn’t just magically spring up after the 2020 election, and so to characterize them as attempting to perpetuate a big lie, I believe is very unfair.” — Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan

Republican Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Holly), who is the former Secretary of State, said the added provisions are needed.  

The bills before us today would greatly enhance security and integrity of our elections or providing appropriate safeguards to protect the rights of voters,” she said. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to veto the legislation following passage by the House, but the bill is almost identical to the Secure MI Vote ballot initiative, a GOP-backed ballot initiative that would allow Republicans in the Legislature to bypass the governor. 

Democrats are decrying the bill as unnecessary and only done to satisfy voters of Donald Trump who mistakenly believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen.  

Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing) wants to know why the GOP is in a rush to pass election legislation.  

When Gov. Snyder was elected, no one asked to change those laws. When Donald Trump was elected, no one asked to change those laws. Now, only now. When you don’t like the results, we say, ‘Oh, I question the integrity of this election,’” Hertel said. 

This is way too consequential to change the rules and change the language and change the bill at the very last minute, which again, is only to continue the chasing after this fundamental lie, that there’s something wrong with our elections to begin with.” —Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield

Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) said the bill is built on falsehoods.  

This is way too consequential to change the rules and change the language and change the bill at the very last minute, which again, is only to continue the chasing after this fundamental lie, that there’s something wrong with our elections to begin with,” he said.  

Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) said that assertion isn’t true.  

Most of these policies that we’re discussing, these ideas are not new. They didn’t just magically spring up after the 2020 election, and so to characterize them as attempting to perpetuate a big lie, I believe is very unfair,” he said.  

It’s unclear why the provisions are necessary. More than 3.3 million people in Michigan voted absentee in last year’s presidential election, and a state Senate investigation — headed by McBroom — found no systemic fraud connected to last November’s election.   

The Senate is expected to take up more election bills Thursday. 

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Russ McNamara, Host, All Things Considered

Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He’s been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.

russmcnamara@wdet.org

Dorothy Hernandez, Digital Editor

Dorothy Hernandez is Digital Editor for 101.9 WDET, creating digital editorial content. Her love of radio began when she had a radio show in college when she and her roommate played ‘80s music in the middle of the night.


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