Updated Thursday, Dec. 1
A Harmful voter ID bill, HB 6066, cleared the Michigan House Elections Committee on a 5-3 party-line vote this afternoon.
“They are now awaiting action by the full house. Legislator contacts – calls, emails, etc. – are critically important,” said Nathan Triplett, director of public policy and political action at Equality Michigan. “And people should contact reps and senators due to how quickly things move in the lame duck session.”
Triplett continued, “In addition to erecting unnecessary and burdensome barriers to vote, there are still many questions that remain unanswered about how the new ID requirements would actually be implemented. It’s unacceptable to be rushing these important policy questions, especially when the legislation impacts one of our most fundamental and cherished rights: voting.”
HB 6066 requires people who do not have “photo identification for voting purposes” to vote with a provisional ballot. In order for their vote to be counted, they must then return to their clerk’s office within ten days of the election to show photo ID or to present “a document to establish the elector’s current residence address as provided in section 523a(5) and executing an affidavit, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, affirming under penalty of perjury that the elector is the same individual who cast the provisional ballot on election day and is or has either of the following: (i) Indigent and attempted but was unable to obtain photo identification for voting purposes without payment of a fee. (ii) A bona fide religious objection to being photographed and does not possess a photo identification for voting purposes.”
This morning the House Elections Committee is taking up three bills that, if passed into law, will create burdensome barriers to voting in Michigan by imposing stringent new identification requirements for voters.
“This legislation will disenfranchise scores of voters and its impact will fall particularly hard on transgender Michiganders. The bills are bad for Michigan and bad for the LGBTQ community,” said Nathan Triplett, director of public policy and political action at Equality Michigan.
In addition to the barriers of time and money that everyone faces when attempting to obtain the required identification, transgender Michiganders face unique challenges in securing government-issued ID that accurately reflects their gender identity. Even when transgender voters are able to obtain the necessary documentation, voter ID laws invite additional scrutiny of transgender individuals at the polls. People of color, low-income people, students, and people with disabilities are disproportionally impacted.
“Michigan’s existing voter ID law has already resulted in far too many unnecessary challenges for transgender voters, which will be made even worse by the proposed legislation,” said Triplett.
Proponents of these bills are attempting to rush them through the lame duck legislature. The bills were introduced only yesterday by State Representative Lisa Lyons and referred to the committee (which Representative Lyons chairs) for a hearing today. Legislators need to hear from members of the community today. Vote NO on House Bills 6066, 6067, and 6068. It only takes a moment to email and call state legislators. Find contact information for State Representatives here and State Senators here.