Michigan Citizens’ Initiative to Outlaw Private Elections Funding, Require Voter ID Headed for Passage
Michigan Citizens’ Initiative to Outlaw Private Elections Funding, Require Voter ID Headed for Passage

By Steven Kovac

A citizen-initiated bill to ban private funding of elections, prohibit the secretary of state from sending out unsolicited applications for absentee ballots, and require state-issued photo ID to vote is one step closer to taking effect in Michigan.

On July 29, volunteers from the Secure MI Vote campaign filed over 500,000 signatures on petitions that will send the proposed legislation to the GOP-controlled Michigan House and Senate for a vote where it is expected to pass.

Michigan law requires 340,000 valid signatures to move the citizen-initiated proposal forward.

Democrats have fought hard to block election integrity bills sponsored by Republican legislators, calling the measures “voter suppression.”

If the state legislature approves the citizen-initiated law, the Michigan Constitution says it would not be subject to a vote of the people.

Another constitutional provision makes the law veto-proof.

Michigan’s Democrat governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has vetoed dozens of election reform bills sent to her desk by the Legislature.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks with members of the National Guard in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington on March 5, 2021. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson speaks in Detroit, Mich., on Aug. 18, 2020. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Secure MI Vote spokesperson Jamie Roe said in a press release, “Over the coming weeks, we trust the Bureau of Elections and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (a Democrat) will swiftly review and confirm the validity of the signatures of our fellow citizens so they can be presented to the Board of State Canvassers to provide their consent.

“Then, the (state) Constitution requires our legislative initiative be presented to the Michigan legislature for their consideration.”

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