Advance Notice: Briefs

Whitmer vetoes another two bills from GOP voting restrictions package

By: - October 16, 2021 6:09 am

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives her DNC address, Aug. 17, 2020 | Julia Picket photo

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed Friday two voting bills from the Senate Republicans 39-bill election package that she said would “divert key resources away from ensuring that every qualified Michigan resident can cast a secure ballot in our elections.”

Senate Bill 277, introduced by Sen. Michael MacDonald (R-Macomb Twp.), aimed to allow county clerks to remove the registration record of a deceased voter from the Qualified Voter File. 

Whitmer said this bill “disregards the state’s successful process for maintaining the Qualified Voter File by adding burdensome requirements that would distract from core election administration responsibilities.”

Senate Bill 280, introduced by Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Groveland Twp.), a former Michigan secretary of state, would have required the Board of State Canvassers to complete the canvass of signatures collected for a ballot initiative within 100 days after it is filed with the Secretary of State. 

Whitmer said she would be willing to sign “common sense election reforms,” including bills that allow active-duty Michiganders and spouses serving overseas to vote electronically, establish a permanent absent voter list and allow sufficient time for preprocessing of absentee ballots.

The Democratic governor has already earlier this month vetoed a number of election-related bills, saying that the bills perpetuated “the calculated disinformation campaign to discredit the 2020 election.”

Republicans do have a petition drive, Secure MI Vote, to restrict voting access in Michigan. If the campaign is able to gather enough signatures, the initiative will go to the GOP-led Legislature for approval before voters and Whitmer can’t veto it. 

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8.