The Michigan Senate plans to adjourn for the year Thursday without taking up a strict voter identification proposal, Republican Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said Tuesday, prompting cheers from protesters outside the state Capitol. Telling reporters the so-called lame-duck session may go down as a “tame duck,” Meekhof added that the upper chamber is unlikely to take up House-approved legislation to boost fines for “mass picketing” or subject state legislators and the governor to public records request laws. The controversial voter ID proposal, approved last week by the Republican-led House, would have required voters to bring photo identification to their local clerk’s office within 10 days if they don’t have an ID on Election Day. Failure to do so would have voided their provisional ballot.
Supporters have championed the three-bill package as a way to protect against potential voter fraud, but critics argued that requiring a return trip to a clerk’s office would make voting harder for low-income residents with limited transportation options and could depress the vote in African-American communities.
“This is a hardship for indigent citizens in our cities, who may not have a vehicle or may not have access to reliable public transportation,” Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said Tuesday in a letter to legislators. “We should be increasing access and encouraging our citizens to use their constitutional right to vote, not making it more difficult.”
Full Article: ‘Tame duck’? Strict voter ID bills stall in Senate.