More Michigan residents could vote by mail — but they’d have to apply in person — under a new no-reason absentee ballot bill backed by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. Johnson, testifying before the House Elections Committee on Tuesday, said the state is ready to join 27 others that allow no-reason absentee voting, “but with Michigan’s stamp of security.” House Bill 4724 would allow a registered voter who doesn’t otherwise qualify for an absentee ballot to obtain one by visiting his or her local clerk, filling out an application and showing a state identification card. A potential amendment would allow voters without an ID to sign an affidavit of identity.
The process would mirror current requirements for in-person Election Day voting, Johnson said, but “accommodate the busy schedule of hard working people” by allowing a more convenient option.
“We would have the same checks and balances and integrity, just like when people come and vote at the precincts,” she said. “This is really an option that people want. It’s simple and secure. Truly the time has come. Everything is in place.”