Voter Identification Bills Pass Through House

Dec 8, 2016

Credit Wikimedia Commons

(MPRN-Lansing) The State House passed three bills late Wednesday to make Michigan’s voter ID law stricter. The legislation would require people who show up at the polls without a photo ID to cast a provisional ballot. 

They would then have ten days to show up at the local clerk’s office and then prove their identity. The legislation brought up heated debate on the House floor. But bill sponsor Lisa Lyons defended the package saying it is necessary to make sure people are who they say they are when they go to vote.

“To provide an ID to have your vote count shows that we are serious about making sure every vote counts, and we’re protecting every voter,” she said.

But Democratic Representative Jeff Irwin disagreed. He said the legislation creates a burden on some voters.

“I believe that they are straightforwardly unconstitutional,” he said. “The right to vote is the most fundamental right that we have as Americans. And the courts have said time and time again that you cannot have a poll tax.”

The votes were close with 57 in favor and 50 against. Most Republicans supported the legislation, but Republican Representative Ed McBroom voted against the bills. He said the current voter ID laws work well.