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Michigan Democrats decry voter identification bills

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LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Michigan Democrats are fuming over new election bills Michigan Republicans are trying to pass before the end of the week.

Michigan House Republicans passed a bill last week that makes adjustments to Election Day photo ID requirements. If passed, the bills would enforce stricter voter ID laws at your polling location.

A new election reform bill would allow you to vote without a photo ID, but your ballot wouldn't be counted until you go your local clerk's office after the election and show your photo ID with your address. You would have ten days to do that.

Democrat Sam Singh says the Republican reforms disenfranchise voters who don't have an ID on Election Day.

Rep. Sam Singh, (D) East Lansing, said, “Let their votes count. If there is an issue of voter fraud, let's deal with it when that time comes, but to me this was blatantly a partisan issue. It's a shame they pushed it through here in lame duck."

But Republican Senator Rick Jones disagrees.

Sen. Rick Jones, (R) Grand Ledge, said, "I say that's ridiculous. You have to have an ID for everything in this society to cash a check to go to the bar, to get a library card, to comply with everything to get a job, you have to have an ID."

Democrats argue Republicans are trying to suppress Democratic votes in areas with large minority populations like Detroit.

Singh said, "We were very surprised to see this legislation come forward when it's not needed. To me in the end it was really about wanting to the suppress the vote whether they are senior citizens or people in some of our more urban communities."

Jones says the Democrat argument over the matter is offensive.

He said, "So to say that African Americans don't have ID is insulting. I'm surprised the Democrats would be that nasty. That's simply not true. All of my African American friends have a driver’s license or a Michigan ID."

State Representative Lisa Lyon's bills passed the House and are now in the Senate.

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We will let you know if and when the bills hit Governor Snyder’s desk.

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