Senate committee approves voter ID reforms

The Senate Elections Committee recently approved three bills to strengthen voter ID requirements.

There is bipartisan support for requiring voters to use ID to vote. Michigan voters want reassurance that their elections are safe and fair. Strengthening ID requirements is critical to a healthy democracy and requiring voters to verify their identity with an ID is the best way to protect the one person, one vote standard.

Currently there is no real system for us to check if someone who shows up to vote is actually eligible or if they have already voted at another location. Currently, people are allowed to show up on Election Day and register and vote immediately, without showing any form of ID.

Senate Bill 285 would require anyone applying for an absentee ballot to verify their identity by providing their Michigan Driver’s license number, Michigan personal ID card number or the last four digits of their Social Security number, on their absentee ballot application. These same precautions are being done in other states as well, such as Ohio.

Two additional bills were reported by the committee. Senate Bill 303 would require voters to show proper deification when voting in person. Senate Bill 304 would allow a voter who shows up in-person without proper identification to cast a provisional ballot and return to their local clerk within six days after the election to verify their identity so that their vote can be counted.

The bills will now go to the Senate Floor for further consideration.