The Michigan State Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would strengthen voting laws in the state, requiring an individual to present a photo ID in order to vote.

In addition to the ID requirement, the legislation would prevent the secretary of state from mailing absentee ballots, unless specifically requested by the voter.

“State senators passed legislation today that will make it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” said Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “In Michigan, we’re required to show our ID for everyday tasks like picking up a prescription, cashing a check, and driving a car. Eighty percent of voters support requiring an ID to vote to make sure our elections are just as secure. Providing photo ID at no cost to voters will only make that easier. We encourage the House to approve these common-sense bills quickly, and send them to Gov. Whitmer for her signature.”

Repeatedly, polling has demonstrated that Americans overwhelmingly approve of the requirement to present a photo ID to vote, including 62 percent of Democrats.

“I don’t think it’s partisan at all, personally,” argued State Senator Ruth Johnson (R-Holly). “I think making sure every voice is heard, every qualified voter gets an opportunity to vote, that’s – there’s nothing about that that’s for one side or the other.”

However, while the measure is popular among voters across the country, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has pledged to veto all election-security bills.

In order to work around Whitmer, the Michigan Republican Party has launched “Secure MI Vote,” a ballot initiative that mirrors the bills. This specific petition allows petitioners, after collecting a sufficient number of signatures, to force the legislature to vote on the proposal or put it on a general election ballot. The method is not subject to a governor’s veto.

The group recently began accepting signatures.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “People Voting” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.