Legislation will still require ID, ensure integrity of voting process
The House Elections and Ethics Committee recently heard testimony by state Rep. Michael Webber, supporting the creation of an online voter registration portal maintained by the Secretary of State.
Webber’s legislation is part of a two-bill package to modernize Michigan’s voter registration program by allowing residents to register to vote online. House Bill 5549 would require anyone who has submitted an electronic voter registration application to vote in person the first time and provide identification if that individual had not previously voted in person in Michigan.
“We’re making it more convenient for Michigan residents to register to vote and exercise their right to participate in our democratic process while maintaining the integrity and security of our elections,” said Webber, of Rochester Hills. “The legislation creates the same process for first-time voters who register online as used when they register through mail.”
The legislation establishes a process to confirm the online applicant’s identity at the polls by verifying the applicant’s date of birth, the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number, and the applicant’s driver’s license or personal ID card number, and the name and eye color on the card.
Supporting Webber’s legislation are the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Michigan Association of County Clerks and Michigan League of Conservation Voters. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson also testified in support of the bills.
“There are over 30 states that allow residents to register to vote online,” Webber said. “We want to create a process in Michigan that makes it easier to register to vote while keeping the process secure and safe.”
House Bill 5549 remains under consideration by the committee.