Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s new no-reason absentee voting proposal, introduced by the head of the House Elections Committee, appears to be a no-go in the Senate. Sen. Dave Robertson, who chairs the Senate Elections Committee, said he does not support the proposal and would not take it up in his committee if it were to advance out of the House. “I believe that Election Day is a focal point in our electoral process for candidates, and I don’t want to diminish the value,” Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, said Thursday.
Close elections can be won or lost “by a mere handful of votes,” he continued, “and I want the time available for candidates to fully develop their candidacies and fully develop the issues of those candidacies.”
Michigan now allows absentee voting under limited circumstances. Those who qualify, including anyone who is at least 60 years old, can request a ballot by mail within 75 days of an election, and local clerks must send them at least 45 days out.
Under the no-reason absentee ballot proposal sponsored by Rep. Lisa Lyons, R-Alto, any registered voter could vote by mail if they first visited a local clerk’s office to fill out an application and show identification.