WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 303, which would add stricter voter ID requirements and ban election officials from proactively sending absentee ballots without a request from the voter. To vote in person under current law, voters may sign an affidavit if they do not have an ID. In contrast, the new bill requires an ID for in-person voting and adds ID requirements to cast an absentee ballot as well. The Senate plans on passing a follow-up bill tomorrow permitting voters to cast a provisional ballot if they do not have a qualifying ID.
S.B. 303 was passed on a party-line vote, with all Democrats opposed. The bill goes next to the Republican-controlled House before heading to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) who is expected to veto the bill. The ID provision mirrors a GOP-backed petition initiative that was approved last week to begin collecting signatures. If the petition gathers enough signatures and heads to the Legislature, the law can be enacted without the approval of Gov. Whitmer.