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Politics & Government
Tue July 3, 2012
Snyder vetoes election bills
Update 3:18 p.m.
MPRN’s Rick Pluta reports that reactions to Gov. Snyder's vetoes today were divided across party lines:
Republicans – including Secretary of State Ruth Johnson – said the bills were reasonable ways to ensure only people who are supposed to vote cast ballots. She says the veto will not stop her from including a box on voter registration forms affirming their U.S. citizenship.
The governor did sign 11 other bills in the package. But GOP leaders in the Legislature expressed disappointment in their Republican governor’s decision to veto some of their work.
House Speaker Jase Bolger quickly issued a statement expressing his disappointment in the vetoes.
Democrats, on the other hand, praised the decision as “courageous.”
House Democratic Leader Rick Hammell said the vetoes were “brave,” and Michigan AFL CIO President Karla Swift praised the governor for standing up to “extremists” in his party.
The governor said in a veto letter that “voting rights are precious and we need to work especially hard to make it possible for people to vote.”
The Michigan Election Coalition publicly thanked Gov. Rick Snyder for vetoing three election bills today. The group is a collection of organizations with the common aim of ending what it calls "voter suppression legislation" in Lansing.
In an MEC press release, Sue Smith, President of the League of Women Voters of Michigan said,
“On the eve of Independence Day, this is a huge victory for our American democracy. We want to thank Gov. Snyder for doing the right thing by vetoing this unfair and unjust legislation. While today’s action is a step in the right direction, the League of Women Voters will continue to educate voters about their rights to make sure every eligible voter can make their voice heard at the ballot box this November."
In the press release another MEC member, Melanie McElroy, Executive Director of Common Cause Michigan, said,
“Gov. Snyder’s veto pen should send a strong message to Lansing politicians that it’s time to halt these voter suppression efforts once and for all. Our elected leaders need to stop the partisan games, and start working together to expand access to voting in Michigan.”
The AP reports that Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger says he's "deeply disappointed" his party's governor vetoed "very reasonable" changes to election laws.
More from Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta to come.
Gov. Snyder has vetoed three bills in a Republican-sponsored package.
The vetoed bills would have required people to affirm their U.S. citizenship and show a photo ID before they can get a ballot, and require people to get training before they can register voters. In both cases, the governor says, the measures would have created too much confusion about who can vote or register people to vote.
The governor signed 11 other measures including ones that would require ballot petitions to be submitted in advance for the Secretary of State to post online, and forbid the use of campaign funds to cover legal expenses unrelated to campaigning.