Michigan Republicans this week proposed changes to state voting laws and have devised a veto-proof way to bypass Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, according to reports.
The 39 bills proposed in the GOP-led Legislature would require identification for new voters, ban prepaid absentee envelopes, limit the number of absentee ballots, and prohibit the secretary of state from sending an absentee ballot to unless requested, according to Bridge Michigan.
“If that legislation is not passed by our Legislature, which I am sure it will be, but if it is not signed by the Governor, then we have other plans to make sure it becomes law before 2022,” said Ron Weiser, President of Michigan’s Republican Party said in a video on social media, according to The Detroit News.
“If that legislation is not … signed by the governor, then we have other plans to make sure it becomes law before 2022.”
Weiser told the North Oakland Republican Club on Thursday that Republicans plan to gather various parts of their ballot bills into a petition initiative that the Legislature could sign into law without Whitmer’s signature if it gets the 340,000 signatures needed to enter the the ticket.
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The initiative would not allow the Republican Party to unilaterally change the state Constitution, according to The News.
Republican State Sen. Ruth Johnson called the proposals “common sense measures that will protect the integrity of our elections by safeguarding the right of people to vote and ensuring that our elections are safe,” according to Bridge Michigan.
Whitmer has already made clear his position on the invoices.
“I have a veto pen, and I am ready to use it on any bill that seeks to make it difficult for people in our state to vote,” he said, according to The News.
“I have a veto power and I am ready to use it on any bill that seeks to make it difficult for people in our state to vote.”
Weiser said the new measures would give the state the opportunity for a “fair election in 2022.”
The proposed changes come after then-President Trump’s defeat to then-candidate Joe Biden in the state. Trump contested the results in Michigan and several other states, claiming election fraud had occurred. But the arguments of Trump and his allies failed to gain ground in court.
Michigan’s effort also comes as Georgia signed changes to the law that make absentee voting difficult and Democrats in Congress are working on a bill that would expand voting rights by setting national standards.
Michigan Democrats have claimed that Republican efforts to secure the election are actually voter suppression in disguise. Republicans say they are trying to prevent Democrats from centralizing elections, thereby removing control from local communities.
“The fact that the Republicans did not win as many races as they wanted does not justify their attempt to silence the voters,” said Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, a Democrat, stating that elections in the state have always been frank. “This is how Michigan Republicans do business. First, they lose. Then they lie. And then they find ways to suppress the vote, because even they know that when people vote, Democrats win.”
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Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes noted that 67% of Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 that, among other changes, allowed absentee voting without excuses.
Weiser has also rejected requests for resignation that began Friday after it emerged that he called Whitmer and the secretary of state and attorney general the “three witches” and added that Republicans should be ready for the “burning at the stake.” while they were at the North Oakland Republic Club, according to Michigan Live. He also made a reference to “murder” when he referred to two Democratic state congressmen.
Weiser said he should have chosen his words more “wisely” but said he had no plans to resign.