By Jon King / email@example.com
A local lawmaker is among Michigan Republicans sharply criticizing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s vetoes of four bills Sunday night during a fundraising dinner for the Detroit NAACP.
Speaking to the crowd at the NAACP’s Freedom Fund Dinner, Whitmer said the bills are designed to suppress votes and “perpetuate the big lie,” that the 2020 election was fraudulent. That statement brought a rebuke from State Rep. Ann Bollin of Brighton Township, who introduced one of the bills, and co-sponsored another.
Bollin, who chairs the House Elections and Ethics Committee, posted to Facebook afterward and said that Whitmer was “playing politics” in rejecting the bills and noted that the Michigan Secretary of State “was neutral and didn’t formally oppose” the bills, adding that they passed the House months ago, “some with almost unanimous support.”
Bollin was also quoted by The Detroit News as saying “This has nothing to do with perpetuating a lie. We found a weakness in the process and there is always an opportunity to improve. Who could think we had the largest election during a pandemic and there would be absolutely no room for improvement? I think we would be foolish to think that.”
The legislation that Bollin introduced, House Bill 4492, would have permitted polling locations to be located at senior housing facilities and clubhouses at apartment complexes, as well as conference centers or golf courses. In vetoing the bill, Whitmer claimed it would actually result in making it “more difficult for seniors and persons living in large apartment complexes to vote.”
The other vetoed bills included comprehensive training for poll challengers, which Whitmer said was “worth further consideration,” but “must have the necessary funding to accomplish its purpose.” Another limited access to the qualified voter file, which the Governor said inferred that outside parties had access to the state’s qualified voter file, when “They did not.” And the fourth bill prohibited electronic poll books from being connected to the internet until all results have been tabulated. Democrats in the Michigan Senate had criticized that last bill by pointing out that at no time are polling books even connected to the internet and its real purpose was to undermine confidence in the election system.
Whitmer concurred and said the bills were part of a “coordinated, national attack on voting rights…designed to undermine confidence in our election system and systematically disenfranchise Black voters, communities of color, older voters, and college students.”
The Michigan Republican Party also criticized the governor. “She’s more interested in grandstanding and pandering rather than strengthening the security of our elections,” spokesman Gustavo Portela said.
A nationwide campaign by the GOP, fueled in part by the false narrative of widespread fraud in last year’s presidential election, has led to a wave of new voting laws across the U.S. that will tighten access to the ballot for millions of Americans. The restrictions especially target voting methods that have been rising in popularity across the country, such as mail balloting and early voting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo courtesy of WDIV – ClickOnDetroit.com