State Rep. Ryan Berman and the Michigan House of Representatives today approved his plan to provide free state identification, paired with a plan to help strengthen the state’s voter ID requirements.
“Voter ID requirements are a popular, practical way to protect our elections against fraud,” said Berman, of Commerce Township. “Strengthening ID protections will make our elections more secure, and providing free ID will ensure our elections are accessible for every Michigan voter.”
Under current law, although each voter is asked to present photo ID when voting in person, a person may sign a statement attesting that he or she does not have identification and then cast a ballot. Senate Bills 303 and 304 would require anyone without photo ID to cast a provisional ballot, which would not be counted unless the voter produces valid ID within six days after the election. A copy of a birth certificate or Social Security card, combined with a bank statement, utility bill or another proof of residence, would also be acceptable proof of identity.
Additionally, SBs 303-304 would require a person seeking to vote absentee to provide a form of identification with the absent voter (AV) application. A person could present photo ID in person, send a copy by mail, or provide a driver’s license number, state ID card number or the last four digits of a Social Security number.
A $10 fee is currently required to obtain a state personal identification card, although the fee can be waived under some circumstances. Berman’s House Bill 5007 would eliminate that fee for all Michigan citizens. Driver’s licenses fees would remain unchanged. To ensure voters have timely access, the legislation would also require Secretary of State offices to offer same-day appointments to people seeking ID in order to vote.
A recent Monmouth poll demonstrated that photo ID requirements are supported by 80% of Americans.
SBs 303-304 and HB 5007 now advance to the governor for her consideration.
State Rep. Ryan Berman, of Commerce Township, today issued the following statement after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed his plan to provide free photo identification so Michigan citizens can vote securely and easily:
“Michigan citizens deserve accessible, secure elections. We should guarantee free photo identification for each voter to cast a secure ballot, but Gov. Whitmer vetoed my plan to increase voter access and election integrity.”
After Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan supposedly to help law enforcement, state Rep. Ryan Berman said her proposal was a similar, but weaker version of a plan Berman and fellow representatives proposed earlier this year.