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Rep. Bollin continues effort to strengthen Michigan elections while advancing democracy
RELEASE|October 14, 2021
Contact: Ann Bollin

State Rep. Ann Bollin, chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee, today led the Michigan House in approving a plan to strengthen Michigan’s elections and ensure that every eligible voter can vote secretly, independently, safely, and securely.

The plan strengthens the proof of identification requirements for in-person and absentee voting and improves access by providing free state photo identification to eligible voters.

“As legislators, we have an obligation to the people of this great state to ensure our laws create a strong, election framework,” Bollin said. “This plan will provide us with a path to ensure we have fair and free elections. It will help restore confidence in our elections. It will give people confidence that their vote will count. And that they, and only they, are casting their own ballot.”

Presenting an ID in order to cast a vote is a concept supported by 80 percent of the public, according to a recent poll conducted by Monmouth University. Another poll found that close to 60 percent of people no longer have confidence in our elections.

Senate Bills 303 and 304 require anyone who casts an absentee ballot or votes in person on Election Day to provide identification. Voters without identification will be issued provisional ballots and will have six days to “cure” their ballot. This means they can show up at their local clerk’s office, present their photo ID, and have their vote tabulated or counted. Clerks will be required to contact absent voters so they can also cure their ballots so the ballot can be counted.

House Bill 5007 removes the current $10 issuance and renewal fees for a state personal identification card, enhancing the ability for people to obtain identification.

“A consistent requirement for all voters to present an ID before receiving a ballot protects the voter and ensures they have a voice with their vote,” Bollin said. “Providing free ID cards will ensure that every eligible voter can readily access a ballot and provide certainty that they can cure their ballot.”

Additionally, the plan prohibits the Secretary of State from sending out unsolicited absentee voter applications, protects against interference from third parties and provide certainty by ensuring all ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

“As a former clerk, I fully understand what is involved in administering elections. I can assure you we do have checks and balances in our elections, but I can also stand here and tell you there is room for improvement,” Bollin said. “It is time to come together – to restore confidence with our public – and protect the vote so every eligible voter can vote freely, secretly, independently, and securely. These bills will do just that.”

The legislation now advances to the governor’s desk for further consideration.

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