Lawmaker wants to ban the state from sending out absentee ballot applications

Michigan

Signs direct people to the absentee ballot drop box in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Oct. 30, 2020.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A lawmaker in Lansing wants to ban the Michigan Secretary of State from sending out absentee ballot applications.

State Rep. Julie Calley introduced a bill on Tuesday designed to regulate when government officials can send out those applications.

Under the bill, county, city, and township clerks would only be allowed to send applications to voters who specifically request them. That includes those who asked to be put on a permanent list of electors who want an absentee ballot application for every election.

The bill would ban the Secretary of State from sending out absentee voter ballot applications at all.

This comes after Sec. of State Jocelyn Benson sent out applications to voters, including those who had not requested them, ahead of the November 2020 election. The goal was to boost absentee voting during the pandemic and decrease the number of people gathering at polling stations.

Supporters say sending out the applications makes it easier and safer for all voters to participate in elections. Opponents say it opens up an avenue for voter fraud. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 general election.

State Rep. Calley’s bill has been referred to the Committee on Elections and Ethics. Click here to read it.

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