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Politics

Michigan Attorney General criticizes bills that limits voting-by-mail

Democratic Attorney Generals, including Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, are still sounding alarm bells over legislation they say will curb voting rights and make it more difficult to vote.

Republican-led legislatures across the country have been passing dozens of bills that would limit absentee voting or voting-by-mail; others would restrict ballot drop boxes or the times people can head to the polls.

The 2020 presidential election had the highest turnout ever, without any sort of increase in voter fraud.

However, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says GOP lawmakers have been spreading misinformation about the election and using it as a reason to restrict access to voting.

“All of these lawsuits that were filed were summarily dismissed," Nessel said. "[They were] found to lack any merit at all. Any of these election fraud claims have been debunked entirely.”

Michigan Senate Republicans have introduced bills that would stop municipalities from providing postage for ballots and require copies of photo ID to be sent in with absentee ballot applications. They say the bills would increase election security. Nessel, other Democrats, and voting rights advocates say that is voter suppression.

“[The bills] ban prepaid postage on absentee ballot return envelopes," Nessel said. "They'd stop our Secretary of State from sending out absentee ballot applications. They'd even stop our local clerk from being able to post voting information on their social media sites”.

Nessel says bills passed by the state’s GOP-led legislature would likely be vetoed by Governor Whitmer, but ballot proposals backed by Republicans could be adopted by lawmakers to circumvent the governor.

Nessel affirmed her support for the ‘For the People’ Act that has passed the U-S House and is awaiting a vote in the Senate. It would provide federal protections for voting rights. GOP Senators are expected to filibuster the measure, preventing it from becoming law.

Detroit-native and Democratic Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says voting is something that should be easy.

“All Americans should have the right to participate in a free and fair election," Ellison said. "These standardized rules [in the "For the People" Act] will help protect people's constitutional right to vote".