Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed bills that would make it a crime to apply for multiple absentee ballots or fill out applications for others without their consent.
Voter fraud is already a crime, the Democrat said, and Republican-backed legislation will “cloud the waters” and “likely confuse voters” on what is considered criminal.
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In a letter to lawmakers Friday, the governor said it was impossible to get a second vote without spoiling the first, and said voters could submit multiple applications to vote due to memory or error.
“Any suggestion that submitting a second application for an absentee vote is criminal conduct creates unnecessary confusion and fear about the absentee voting process,”
The main bill was passed by the Republican-controlled House and Senate with two-party votes of 77-26 and 32-6, respectively, according to the Associated Press.
Wimmer’s veto has drawn harsh criticism from one of the bill’s sponsors, GOP spokeswoman Anne Bolin, who said the legislation would prevent fraud and boost voter confidence in the election amid the “noise” of postal voting during the pandemic. COVID-19.
President Trump added to the noise by raising his own questions about the integrity of the postal vote. However, election experts usually say that all forms of voter fraud are rare.
According to Bolin, the legislation has “nothing to do” with voters who fill out multiple applications or ballots themselves.
“This legislation would create a criminal penalty for someone who fills out an application for another person in an attempt to commit fraud,” she said. “It’s not intimidating voters – it’s protecting voters.”
According to opinion polls included in the Real Clear Politics average, voters in the swing state are in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden. The Democrat leads Trump by more than 7 percentage points.
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The president won Michigan in 2016 after Hillary Clinton decided to omit Rust Belt while campaigning.
Hoping to avoid the same fate, both Trump and Biden visited Michigan several times during the campaign.