Michigan Republicans are considering a petition drive to force a vote in the legislature on a series of election integrity bills that would not be subject to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) veto power.
Legislative Republicans — which hold a majority in both chambers — are able to consider bills if a sufficient number of voters sign petitions to demand it.
The petition process allows the legislature to vote to enact a proposal into law and is not subject to a governor’s veto.
The Detroit News reported:
Ron Weiser, chairman of the Michigan GOP, told the North Oakland Republican Club Thursday night that the party wants to blend together bills proposed in the House and Senate for a petition initiative.
If Republicans gathered enough signatures — more than 340,000 would be needed — the GOP-controlled Legislature could approve the proposal into law without Whitmer being able to veto it.
Senate Republicans unveiled 39 bills Wednesday to require applicants for absentee ballots to present a copy of identification, overhaul large counties’ canvassing boards and bar Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson from sending absentee ballot applications to voters unless they specifically request the applications.
“If that legislation is not passed by our Legislature, which I am sure it will be, but if it’s not signed by the governor, then we have other plans to make sure that it becomes law before 2022,” Weiser told the group. “That plan includes taking that legislation and getting the signatures necessary for a legislative initiative so it can become law without Gretchen Whitmer’s signature.”
State Rep. Matt Hall (R) indicated a similar sentiment on a recent episode of The Kyle Olson Show.
“We’re going to do everything we can to try to get this through and signed by the governor, but if we don’t, we’re going to have to look at other options,” Hall said, specifically naming a petition drive.
Meanwhile, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) alleged states that are advancing election integrity bills, including Georgia and Michigan, “don’t believe in democracy.”
“Everything is in peril if you don’t have that power to determine who represents you and hold them accountable,” Benson told MSNBC. “And for those now in leadership to try to take that power away, it’s reprehensible.”
Those states are putting tighter restrictions on absentee voting, such as requiring a photo ID, as well as limiting the number of drop box locations. They would also prevent secretaries of state, such as Benson, from sending out unsolicited absentee ballot applications, as she did in 2020 to the tune of over $4 million.
“It’s a number of things that make the administration of the right to vote in Michigan very, very difficult and will have a clear impact of making it harder for people to vote,” Benson complained, naming “historically disenfranchised communities, urban communities, among young voters.”
Benson charged the changes “really underscores that the GOP in Michigan and across the country is a party that is led by people who don’t believe in democracy.”