Michigan Governor Thwarts Multiple GOP Voter Suppression Bills


In spite of the foiled plan to kidnap and kill Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), she continues to do her job, especially when it comes to Americans’ right to vote. Just last week, she vetoed three additional voter-suppression bills. And it does not appear that she has any interest in letting the rest of this deafening cascade of similar bills beat her. Governor Whitmer’s courage is striking.

The Republicans in her state have put together a “39-bill election package.” Included were State Senate Bill 303, 304, and House Bill 5007 to get rid of Michigan voters’ choices. Take the case of people trying to use an “affidavit attesting to their identity” as proof when they wanted to go vote. The Michigan GOP fought hard to prevent this governor from having enough votes.

But the governor indicated that these bills “disproportionately harm communities of color,” aka non-white voters. Actually, they are five times more likely to lack access to an ID on Election Day.”

Governor Whitmer said, according to reporting by The Detroit Free Press:

‘Voting restrictions that produce such a racially disparate impact must never become law in this state.’

Democratic vice chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee, State Representative Matt Koleszar (D) commented, according to the Michigan House Democrats site:

‘These bills are a solution in search of a problem and are intended to cause confusion among voters. Republicans refuse to let this manufactured, divisive issue die despite mountains of evidence putting it to rest.’

‘Voting is the most fundamental freedom in a democracy and as the leading democracy in the world, we have a proud history of free and fair elections. These constant attacks on that basic freedom have convinced me that we need to take proactive measures with legislation of our own to defend the promise of free and fair elections, which are the cornerstone of our nation.’

Senior Advisor for Promote the Vote Sharon Dolente also favored the governor’s campaign to keep Americans’ freedom to vote. She said, according to The Free Press:

‘These bills are out of step with what we know Michigan voters want, a voting system that works for everyone.’

‘Michigan law already requires voters to verify their identity prior to voting. These bills would impose a radically restrictive identity verification scheme rejected by 42 states. These bills would make it harder for election officials to ensure Michigan elections remain both accessible and secure.’

A previous Michigan Secretary of State, Senator Ruth Johnson (R), disagreed with the governor’s plan of resistance:

‘[B]y vetoing these measures, the governor is rejecting nearly 80% of Michigan voters who support requiring every voter coming to the polls to present a government-issued ID to cast their ballot — including over 58% of voters in her own party.’

Wang continued, noting that by using the veto, she could deflate the Republican State legislators’ attack on “political operatives behind the secure MI vote:”

‘Now, we anticipate that the politicians and political operatives behind Secure MI Vote will attempt to use this veto to fuel their anti-voter plan.’

It has appealed to many that Governor Whitmer’s approach to protecting all of her state’s voters is working. The “[advocates for] common-sense election reform” veto would have “disenfranchised voters:”

‘[The bills] would have disenfranchised voters across the state by putting up new barriers to voting and restricting funding for local elections.’

Then, there was Proposal 3. This bill would have attacked what the Democratic legislators wanted:

  • Let people vote via an absentee ballot without a reason
  • Offer same-day voter registration
  • Have “straight-ticket voting.
  • Dismiss America’s voting system by attacking its viability
  • Register to vote without ever physically appearing.

Right now Secure MI Vote, a GOP-dominated petition drive, is working to implement many of the same restrictions to voting access. If the campaign is able to gather enough signatures, the initiative will go to the GOP-led Legislature for approval.

Featured image via screenshot YouTube.

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