Voters Rights Groups Oppose Election Law Changeup

Feb 14, 2012

The state Senate has approved some prospective changes in Michigan voting laws.

The measures would require training for people who register voters, and make people who pick up absentee ballots show a photo I-D or sign an affidavit affirming their identity.  The measures have raised concerns with voter-rights advocates. 

Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson called for some new election rules to discourage vote fraud.        Fred Woodhams is her spokesman.

“Michigan has a good election system, a very good election system, but we want to improve that even more,” he says.

Sue Smith is with the League of Women Voters.

“To me, it’s an attempt to suppress the vote either by making it harder for people to register to vote or by making it harder for them to vote at the polls, and I think that we’re going in the wrong direction,” she says.

Smith says the requirements will discourage some people – the elderly, the poor, or handicapped – from casting ballots. She says it continues a trend in Michigan to make it harder for people to vote. Republicans says no one is denied a vote, and it is reasonable to ask voters to show they are who they say they are.