Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Sunday vetoed four election integrity bills the legislature passed to improve training for election clerks and increase database security.
Pandering to a “captive audience,” Whitmer rejected the bills during a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People dinner in Detroit. Democrats argue election integrity legislation discriminates against black people, though recent polling found some provisions, such as requiring an ID to vote, are popular with that voting bloc.
The bills, part of a 39-bill package making its way through the legislature, “would limit who can access Qualified Voter File, prohibit poll books from being connected to the internet, require specific training for poll challengers and change how municipalities decide where to hold polling locations,” Mlive reported when they passed on Thursday.
Democrats opposed the integrity efforts, claiming they would “confuse voters about the security of Michigan’s elections,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
Whitmer used the dinner to veto the bills and to threaten to ax the rest.
“Just last Thursday, the Michigan Legislature passed a number of bills that weaken voting rights, and they rushed them to my desk. The intent, as we have seen across the country, is to suppress our votes and perpetuate the big lie,” the governor claimed, WDIV reported.
“The message should be loud and clear, if they want to send the other 35, they will meet the same fate,” Whitmer added.
“Governor Whitmer is playing politics again!” state Rep. Ann Bollin (R) responded in a statement. “She vetoed bills her Democratic House members supported as common sense election reforms. Expanding polling locations is not limiting access to voters! How does ensuring challengers, poll watchers and poll workers are consistently trained hurt voters? Prohibiting 3rd parties from accessing our qualified voter files is protecting the vote – not limiting it.”
She continued, “Once again Governor Whitmer is taking a cheap and easy shot in front of a captive audience tonight in Detroit. Even the SOS was neutral and didn’t formally oppose these bills. These bills passed the House months ago – some with almost unanimous support.”
Other election integrity groups blasted Whitmer for her actions.
“This is just the latest example of Gretchen Whitmer’s politics getting in the way of actually governing,” said Eric Ventimiglia, Executive Director for Michigan Rising Action. “This veto shows that Whitmer is more concerned with politics than the people they represent. If this package had four Democrat sponsors, she would hold a press conference calling it an achievement in voters rights.”
“Gretchen Whitmer vetoed common sense bills that would have made it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” added Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “She blocked reforms that would have helped senior citizens cast their ballots, and legislation that would have protected both the state’s voter file and voters’ ballots on Election Day. Whitmer’s vetoes are a chilling attack on election integrity in Michigan.”
— — —
Cooper Moran is a reporter for the Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer.