Michigan GOP lawmakers’ proposed changes to election laws draw opposition

The 39-bill package includes requiring photo ID to accompany mail-in ballots

GOP lawmakers' proposed changes to election laws draw loud opposition

LANSING, Mich. – The new effort by Republican lawmakers to change the election process in Michigan is receiving pushback.

While GOP are calling it voters reform, others are calling it voter suppression.

Among the package of 39 bills, many are aimed at issues from the 2020 election.

Some aimed at absentee voting, including barring the Secretary of State from sending unsolicited ballot applications, requiring photo ID to accompany a mail-in ballot and preventing clerks from giving out prepaid postage for ballots.

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Other bills are aimed at the counting and auditing of elections -- including requiring state training for poll challengers, allowing challengers to take video or photo of the vote count and requiring one member of each party to supervise the state’s audit of the election -- along with 33 other sweeping changes to Michigan’s elections, which are similar to Republican-backed bills in other states considered by voting rights experts to be tactics of voter suppression.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist outraged by the bill package, likening it to racist voting laws in the south after the Civil War.

“More than that, this is literally Jim Crow rising from the dead and coming to the state of Michigan and the Republicans have their way,” Gilchrist said.

Republicans said the bills are necessary after months of failed election lawsuit and misinformation about the election results.

On Twitter, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey writes, “Michigan residents must have complete confidence in the fairness of elections and that all who can legally vote can vote.”