Michigan Senate Passes Bill That Makes Some Voter Fraud Offenses A Felony
In a bipartisan vote in the Michigan Senate, 2 bills were passed that would make requesting a ballot under someone else's name or filling out multiple applications for ballots a felony.
The vote passed easily in the Senate by a vote of 32-6 on Wednesday and has already passed in the House as well. It is unclear as to whether or not Governor Whitmer will sign the bill if it reaches her desk.
The two bills, Senate Bill No. 977 and Senate Bill No. 978, are thought to have received such a large amount of bipartisan support because of doubt being cast on the integrity mail-in voting. This is despite the fact that studies overwhelmingly show that mail-in and absentee voting is safe and secure. In a recent article by AP News, it was stated that "Voter fraud is rare in the United States. An analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice found Americans were more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud."
The bill was introduced just weeks before the November general election and was likely in response to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's unsolicited applications for absentee ballots being sent to every Michigander. So far, at least 2.4 million registered Michigan voters have requested an absentee ballot.
There has been much contention over the mail-in ballots in Michigan and according to an article by MLive.com, a few former Michigan Secretaries of State are already suing to have late ballots thrown out. The article states "They seek to have ballots that arrive late to clerks' offices, even if they’re postmarked before Election Day, tossed out, according to the complaint."
Of the expected 5.5 million Michiganders who are expected to vote in the 2020 election, almost have are expected to do it absentee.