GOP-Backed Election Reform Petition Campaign Launched in MI

Earlier this week, Michigan Republicans announced that they would be supporting a petition campaign by Secure MI Vote to enact various election reforms in the state. The petition process allows the proposal to be enacted without approval from the state's Democrat governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

Michigan has a unique process for voter-initiated legislation:

Michigan's process for approving voter-initiated legislation stands out as a national outlier in allowing lawmakers to enact changes proposed by a minority of voters whose proposals are not subject to either a popular vote or the governor's approval. By collecting about 340,000 voter signatures, Secure MI Vote can propose changes to Michigan's election law that the GOP-controlled Legislature can enact without Whitmer's signature or placement on the ballot in a statewide election.

If approved, the proposal would:

  • Require photo ID for voting in person;
  • Require those who vote absentee to submit their driver's license number, state personal ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number with their absentee ballot application;
  • Give those without photo ID the ability to cast a provisional ballot and verify their identity within six days;
  • Create a fund to provide photo ID cards to voters who are financially unable to obtain an ID card;
  • Prohibit election officials from sending an absentee ballot application to an individual that did not request one; and
  • Prohibit outside corporate entities from contributing "Zuckerbucks" which aim to influence state and local elections.

Bridge Michigan reported

“What we are trying to do here is just restore the confidence and the belief in the integrity of the system,” said spokesperson Jamie Roe, a GOP consultant who is working on the new committee along with veteran Republican operative Fred Wszolek . . . “We’re pretty hopeful and optimistic here that we can get this process moving quickly, and get these enacted into law,” Roe said. “I would hope that the legislature would take immediate action particularly, please if we act with dispatch to get support from across the state.”

Michigan is the latest in a string of several states that are seeking to enact policies that make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.