Whitmer vetoes election bills, says they perpetuate lies

LANSING (Mich.) Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed several Republican sponsored election bills. She claimed they would perpetuate falsehoods to discredit 2020's presidential election and make it harder for seniors and people in apartment complexes to vote.
Two measures would have codified current practices, limiting access to Michigan’s voter database and keeping electronic voting systems and pollbooks from being connected to internet on Election Day. In a letter to legislators, the governor stated that the bills implied that outside parties could access the file and that electronic ballotbooks were connected online.

A measure to expand the range of buildings that can be used as polling places by including private conference centers and recreation clubshouses was also blocked by her. It contained a provision that allowed municipalities to place polling places in senior facilities or apartment complexes housing at least 150 people, just as they do now. However, this was only permitted if schools and other public buildings were not reasonable available for use or convenient use.

Whitmer vetoed Sunday's legislation at the NAACP Detroit branch’s annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner. She stated that the bills "attempts to suppress the vote or perpetuate The Big Lie, the calculated disinformation campaign to discredit 2020's election. I will not participate in any effort that gives credence to this deception so harmful to our democracy.

The Michigan Republican Party criticised the governor.

Gustavo Portela, spokesperson for the party, stated that she is more interested in grandstanding than strengthening security for our elections.

The false narrative of widespread fraud in the last presidential election has fueled a nationwide campaign by GOP that led to new voting laws in the U.S., which will make it more difficult for millions to vote. These restrictions are especially targeted at voting methods that are rising in popularity, such as early voting and mail balloting.

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Whitmer, a Michigan Democrat, has pledged to veto similar proposals, such as the requirement for absentee voters in Michigan to submit a photo ID copy with their application, or to include their drivers license number and state ID number. However, Republicans are planning to circulate petitions in support of an initiative that the GOP-controlled Legislature might enact without Whitmer's signature.

Whitmer also rejected legislation that would have required election-challengers to attend training provided by the secretary and each clerk prior to an election. This training was meant for election inspectors and would have increased awareness of challengers' role. While she was open to the idea, Whitmer said that funding must be available.

Last week, the Legislature approved the bills. Republicans claimed that they would improve election integrity through commonsense changes. Despite opposition from the Senate Democrats, around half of House Democrats supported certain bills.


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