LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed bills sponsored by his own party that would have required some voters to show a photo ID before they could get an absentee ballot and mandated extra training for groups registering voters.
He also vetoed legislation to require voters to reaffirm their U.S. citizenship before receiving a ballot. The governor said in a statement Tuesday that he signed 11 other election bills into law.
Common Cause Michigan and the League of Women Voters are among groups praising Snyder’s veto of the voter registration measure.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick called it a “huge, huge veto.”
“This puts the governor on the side of, if you can believe this, the ACLU and the Baptist ministers in Detroit who gave him an earful the other day when they talked about not wanting to show voter IDs in order to vote ,” said Skubick.
“The governor vetoed that legislation over the objections of Secretary of State — remember Ruth Johnson is a Republican — and a Republican legislature, both the House and Senate,” he said. “So, the governor clearly on one side, the Republicans on the other.”
Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger said he’s “deeply disappointed” his party’s governor vetoed “very reasonable” changes to election laws.
Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950, Bolger’s spokesperson, Ari Adler, said there has been some misinformation spread about trying to suppress voters.
“It’s exactly the opposite. We’re trying to make sure that people who are registering the vote are actually getting their registrations turned in and are actually eligible to vote,” Adler said.
On the other side of the aisle, House Democratic Leader Richard Hammel congratulated Snyder on what he called a “brave decision.”
“The package as a whole would have discouraged thousands of Michigan voters from going to the polls and disenfranchised many more while doing nothing to make elections more fair,” said Hammel, in a statement. Adding, “Studies have repeatedly shown that Michigan has no problem with voter fraud.”
Snyder said he vetoed the absentee ballot bill because it would not let an absentee ballot count if the person did not affirm their citizenship by the close of the polls on an Election Day.
He said the vetoed bills could have created confusion among absentee voters and groups conducting voter registration drives.
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