MI Senators introduce bills to reform voting

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– A 39 bill package was introduced by Michigan senators today in hopes to change and modify some of the ways elections are handled in our state.

Senator Ed McBroom is the Chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee and says this package addresses some of the findings from an investigation into the November 2020 election. That investigation hasn’t been made public yet though.

McBroom says the bills cover four different categories…pre-election, election day, post election and voter integrity.

Starting with absentee voting, people would have to request an application to get an absentee ballot.

“Making sure that we’re not sending out applications unsolicited and we return to the process of where if you want a ballot, you request it, or you’re on a permanent list that receives an application,” said McBroom.

Voters would have to provide a form of identification with their absentee ballot, but Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope says that could deter voters.

“When you’re talking about the absentee voters who are mailing in that ballot application, do they have a photocopier at home where they can make a copy of their ID? Are they comfortable with mailing a copy of their ID through the mail?” said Swope.

Ballot drop boxes would also have to close at 5 p.m. the day before the election. McBroom says this is to ease the stress of poll workers on election day.

However, Swope says they get a large number of absentee ballots on election day and that voters often like to hold onto their ballots until then.

There was a large increase in voters overall across the state but Swope says 30 percent of people still didn’t cast a ballot. He added that he believes these reforms would make it harder for people to vote.

McBroom says all these bills are intended to make sure elections are safe and secure.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration today and says Michigan’s election was secure. She also address the high number of people who voted from home last year.

“We saw, in particular, the amount of people who voted absentee go from 1.1. mill in 2016 to 3.3. million in 2020,” said Benson.

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