© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Deadlock between Benson, Republicans stalls absentee ballot rules

Absentee Ballot
Wikipedia Media Commons
Absentee ballot

The differences center on standards for matching signatures in clerks’ files with signatures on mailed-in ballots and the ability to request a ballot online using an electronic signature.

Republicans say Secretary of StateJocelyn Benson’s plans would open the door to fraud and error.

And Republican SenatorJon Bumsteadsays Benson has refused to negotiate on those standards. That’s after her office refused to make GOP-backed alterations to the proposed rules.

“The committee did invite the Department of State to meet and discuss requested changes,” said Bumstead. “However, the department ignored that invitation.”

Republicans used a procedural process to pause further action on the rules until after the November elections.

On a party-line vote, the legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules chose to send bills that encompass Benson’s rules to the House and the Senate. The bills will be sponsored by Republican legislators, but they could easily be amended.

And that’s why Democrats, including RepresentativeJulie Brixie, say it’s Republicans who aren’t acting in good faith.

“This appears to be something that’s going to be a bait-and-switch,” she told Michigan Public Radio.

Brixie says confusion works to the benefit of Republicans and accuses of GOP lawmakers of gaming the process.

“The Republicans are interested in suppressing voter turnout and disqualifying as many votes as possible from Democratic areas,” she said.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU todayto keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
Related Content