MI GOP Has A Plan For Getting Restrictive Voting Measures Around Guv’s Vetos

Supporters of US President Donald Trump rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on November 7, 2020, after Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 US elections. (Photo b... Supporters of US President Donald Trump rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on November 7, 2020, after Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 US elections. (Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP) (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 26, 2021 12:25 p.m.

Michigan Republicans are eyeing using a petition process in a bid to get several restrictive voting measures around a promised veto from the state’s Democratic governor.

The scheme, reported by the Detroit News based on a video posted to social media, was laid out by state GOP chair Ron Weiser at a Thursday meeting with a local Republican club.

If the governor vetoes election legislation passed out of the GOP-controlled legislature, “we have other plans to make sure that it becomes law before 2022,” Weiser said, according to the report.

“That plan includes taking that legislation and getting the signatures necessary for a legislative initiative so it can become law without Gretchen Whitmer’s signature.”

The petition process would require Republicans get more than 340,000 signatures, the Detroit News said. If they met that threshold, the proposal would become law, circumventing a veto from the governor.

The legislature has introduced dozens of bills to change the state’s election rules. Among them are proposals to require those applying for mail ballots to provide a copy of their ID; block Michigan’s secretary of state from proactively sending mail ballot applications to voters, as Secretary Benson (D) did in 2020; and tighten up the use of ballot drop boxes. One proposal would bar voters from using drop boxes after 5 p.m. the day before the election. Local government would also be barred from including prepaid postage with mail ballots sent to voters, under a measure that is been proposed in the legislation.

The proposals came as Republican statehouses nationwide have advanced restrictive voting measures and after Michigan in particular became a major target of President Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.

In his remarks, according to the Detroit News, Weiser said that Republicans aimed to cobble together the various proposals for the petition effort and that the state party would fund the efforts by local parties to collect signatures.

Michigan Republicans have been notoriously hostile to the right to vote. Michigan’s current regime of allowing no-excuse mail voting, same day registration, and automatic voter registration was created by a 2018 ballot initiative, after GOP lawmakers repeatedly rebuffed legislative proposals to make those changes. That initiative, which amended the state constitution, was approved by 67 percent of voters.

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