House Committee changes to strict voter ID bills will give Michigan most extreme restrictions in United States
LANSING – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters today issued the following statement after the Michigan House passed a substitute of Senate Bill 303, as well as Senate Bill 304. The amended House version of SB 303 would subject every in-person voter to a signature challenge requiring poll workers to verify the signature on a voter’s application to vote even if the voter has an ID. The House also approved measures implementing strict photo ID and removing the affidavit option MI voters have had for years. The 303 substitute will particularly impact older voters and the disabled community whose signature often changes over time.
“The current system has worked for years, and voters in nearly every county across our state used the affidavit option to vote on Election Day without issues,” said Clare Allenson, Democracy For All Director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “We already have a voter ID law, and this legislation is a false solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. The net result will be more delays and confusion for election workers that will impact all Michigan voters and bestow on voters the most restrictive voter ID rules in the country.”
Michigan already has a voter ID law that has been proven effective, requiring voters that don’t have an ID to sign a sworn affidavit under penalty of perjury. The changes to the bills would create additional Election Day administrative challenges for poll workers by requiring poll workers to match the signature of an application with the signature in the Qualified Voter File, which will require more time to process, slowing down Election Day for all voters. If a signature is deemed to not match, the voter would need to cast a provisional ballot, which would require further administrative delays and validation by both the voter and local clerk’s staff before the vote counts.