VanderWall calls governor’s voter ID veto unfortunate

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Curt VanderWall on Friday voiced his disappointment in the governor’s veto of a package of bills that would have strengthened ID requirements for voting and made it easier for residents to get free state IDs.

“Unfortunately, this is how our governor continues to work; she chooses politics over the people of Michigan,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “The only thing suppressed by these bills was a legitimate vulnerability in our election system. Showing proper ID to vote is a commonsense solution supported by Republican, Democrat and independent voters across the state. These bills would have worked to make IDs and elections more easily and fairly accessible to all voters across Michigan.”

Among the bills vetoed Friday by the governor were Senate Bills 303 and 304, along with House Bill 5007.

SB 303 would have required voters to show proper ID when voting in person and required absentee voters to write their Michigan driver’s license number or state ID card number on their absentee ballot application to verify their identity. Voters could also have written the last four digits of their social security number on their application or presented their ID to their clerk to get an absentee ballot. It also would have prohibited the use of third-party money for elections administration in Michigan and banned the secretary of state or other government officials from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters.

A statewide poll from the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Glengariff Group in May 2021 showed that 79.7% of Michigan voters support requiring “every voter coming to the polls present a government-issued identification to cast their ballot” — that included 100% of strong Republicans, 83.4% of Independents, and 58.4% of strong Democrats. A recent Monmouth University poll found that four out of every five Americans (80%) support showing ID to vote.

SB 304, sponsored by VanderWall, would have allowed in-person voters without proper ID and absentee voters who fail to fill in the identifying information to cast a provisional ballot and return to their local clerk within six days after the election to verify their identity so their vote can be counted. HB 5007 would have made official state personal ID cards free for Michigan residents.