Whitmer vetoes bill informing absentee applicants they can't vote more than once

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday vetoed legislation that would include information on an absentee ballot application informing a potential voter it is a felony to vote more than once in the same election. 

Whitmer said in her veto letter that the bill is one of several that "aim to restrict or chill access to the ballot" — legislation that was not negotiated. 

"Every citizen of Michigan has a constitutionally guaranteed right to vote and should be free to exercise this right without obstruction," Whitmer wrote. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer listens to other speakers before announcing the details of the Building Michigan Together plan.

Sen. Kim LaSata, the Niles Republican who sponsored the bill, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. 

The language the GOP-led Legislature proposed to add to the absentee application would have stated the voter understood that offering to vote or attempting to vote more than once in the same election was a felony. 

The bill was supported by the Michigan associations for county and municipal clerks, according to a Senate Fiscal Agency analysis, but was opposed by some voting rights groups including Promote the Vote and the League of Women Voters of Michigan. 

The bill is among several GOP-led pieces of legislation that Whitmer has vetoed over the past year as Republicans seeks stricter voting standards in the wake of the 2020 election. Democrats have advocated looser policies providing more access to the election process. 

Whitmer said in her letter that she would be open to signing voting bills that allowed overseas active duty military families to vote electronically, created more time to pre-process absentee ballots, or established a permanent absentee voter list.