Michigan Senate approves bill with voting restrictions, expanded ID requirements

Governor expected to veto legislation from Republican lawmakers

Michigan election sign

LANSING, Mich. – Republicans in the Michigan Senate on Wednesday again passed legislation that would make it harder to vote, advancing photo ID, absentee ballot and other changes that face a surefire veto from Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer if they reach her desk.

The main bill, which was revised and sent to the House over Democratic opposition, is now similar to a separate Republican-backed ballot initiative that, if enough signatures are collected, can be enacted by GOP lawmakers without the governor's veto.

The regular legislation would require prospective absentee voters to include their driver’s license number, state ID number or the last four digits of their Social Security number. The move is opposed by Democrats and at least some House Republicans as too cumbersome compared with an existing requirement to sign the application.

The bill would eliminate the ability of in-person voters without a photo ID to sign an affidavit and still vote. Instead, they would get a provisional ballot and have to verify their identity within six days of the election for it to count.

The secretary of state and local clerks would be barred from mailing unsolicited ballot applications.

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