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Republicans preparing to get around Whitmer veto on election changes; Democrats ready to fight

Intense disagreement between Democrats and Republicans remain over significant election changes.
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Republicans are preparing to work around a potential veto from Governor Gretchen Whitmer on proposed election changes.

Thursday Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist claims that Senate Republicans are scared of voters and that they are trying to make it harder for black people to vote. Republicans say that is not the case.

“Once again, these are not targeted at anyone,” said Sen. Ed McBroom, R-38th State Senate District.

“It is so sad, but not shocking, that Republican have made this choice,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, D-Michigan.

Intense disagreement between Democrats and Republicans remains over significant election changes.

In a 39-bill proposal introduced by Republicans last week, an absentee application could not be sent out unless it is requested by a voter and ID’s would be required for absentee voting.

The Republican plan would also allow people between 16 and 17-and-half years old to pre-register to vote and increase training for election challengers.

Democrats say Republicans want an advantage in next year’s governor’s race.

“Let’s be really clear, they want to undermine voter turnout for 2022,” said Gilchrist. “They are afraid of having a similar voting turnout and how it will work or not work for them in 2022.”

If the bills pass the Republican-controlled senate and house, they will go to the governor’s desk for approval.

“If and when those bills get to my desk and they are aimed at making it harder to vote they will get vetoed,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-Michigan on Wednesday.

The chair of the Michigan Republican party, Ron Weiser, said the party is prepared to use a constitutional provision to pass the bills without the governor’s support.

A petition drive would need at least 340,000 signatures and would be sent to the Republican legislature for approval. If approved, the bills could not be vetoed by the governor.

Senator McBroom says he will consider supporting the effort.

“If the governor does veto them and there is widespread support, it depends which bill it is and whether it is something I will sign onto as well,” said McBroom.

And Democrats appear to be considering legal action if Republicans avoid the governor.

“It is still very early, but there are obviously legal challenges that we could look at,” said Tiffany Muller, Let America Vote President.

Currently, state lawmakers are on their spring break and don’t return to Lansing until April 13.

To view all 39 bill introduced by Republicans click here. The bills are SB273-SB311.

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