Michigan GOP Drops Proposed Signature Verification for Voters

July 09, 2021, 7:57 AM

The state GOP has dropped a controversial legislative proposal requiring poll workers to verify voter signatures before every ballot is cast. 

Bridge Magazine reports:

Last month, the Republican-controlled House passed legislation along party lines that would require the Michigan Secretary of State to provide polling places access to state voter files so workers could compare signatures, a provision strongly opposed by Democrats, voting rights groups and many local clerks across the state. 

But Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton, said Thursday she no longer thinks the signature-verification process is needed.

“The clerks during testimony brought up that they feel that it would be challenging to have the election workers also checking signatures and, as a former clerk, I highly regard what the clerk's have to say about any of the election bills," she said.

Deadline Detroit columnist Chad Selweski wrote about dangers of the proposal Monday:

As if the Legislature’s wobbly attempt to overhaul voting rules hadn’t already gone off the rails, a new bill could create an unfair Election Day disadvantage for those with sloppy penmanship.

A proposed ID requirement would require that the way voters sign in at their precincts matches their signature on file. How could a volunteer election worker without expertise compare two squiggly bundles of scrawl and quickly determine if they match?

Those who fail the proposed autograph test could get pushed aside for insufficient proof of identity. As someone who rarely writes his haphazard signature in the same way each time, I object. I have the right to write sloppily without losing my right to vote under Republicans' latest election plan.

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