Politics Michigan GOP House lawmakers move to ban secretary of state from issuing absentee ballot applications
Huge immigrant visa backlog poses challenge for Biden
Biden administration wrestling with massive backlog of nearly 2.6 million immigrant visa applications, caused by restrictions from Trump policies and covid-19 pandemic.Even though President Joe Biden has moved to reverse many of his predecessor's anti-immigration policies, the consequences of those restrictive measures linger and have contributed to a massive backlog of nearly 2.6 million visa applications.
Republican House lawmakers inmoved to prevent the secretary of state's office from issuing absentee ballot applications.
The voting proposal is included within the GOP's budget bill, which was passed through a subcommittee on Tuesday, with all Democratic members opposing, and would need to be approved by the full appropriations committee, the Republican-led House and Senate, and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has the power to strip portions of the legislation, to become law.
"The budget is always an important place to focus on government efficiency. Local clerks have always had responsibility for sending out absentee ballot applications. The secretary of state's office created confusion among the public and press by sending out a mass mailing last year," state Rep. Greg VanWoerkom, the lead sponsor of the legislation,the Detroit Free Press.
Beyond Georgia, Democrats eye voting reforms in several states
Democrats are preparing to take aim at voting reforms under consideration in a number of states beyond Georgia, where state Republicans passed a slate of changes last month that sparked intense opposition on the Left. © Provided by Washington Examiner The Peach State battle could end up serving as the opening salvo in a nationwide battle over election laws, however. Liberals have staunchly resisted attempts in several states to roll back voting provisions that were put in place to accommodate public health concerns in 2020 amid the pandemic.
"This eliminates confusion, makes the process simpler to understand, and keeps the exact same level of service and access for voters," he also said.
During the 2020 election cycle, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was chastised by former President Donald Trump, whoin May to withhold funding from the state of Michigan after he claimed that top brass had sent absentee ballots to every registered voter.
However, Benson, a Democrat, hadwill be sending applications for absentee ballots, not the ballots themselves, to all 7.7 million of the state's registered voters. Such a move was and touted despite Republican complaints about rising potential for fraud.
Benson's office criticized the proposed voting changes brought forth by GOP lawmakers in the state House.
Arkansas bills that add restrictions to voting process head to governor's desk
The Republican-controlled Arkansas legislature this week passed a handful of bills that would add restrictions to the voting process in the state, sending them to the governor's desk.The Republican-controlled Arkansas legislature this week passed a handful of bills that would add restrictions to the voting process in the state, sending them to the governor's desk.
"These provisions aren’t about the state budget. They are instead another attempt by state legislators — notably the most nakedly partisan branch of our state government — to overstep their authority in an effort to control our elections and undermine our democracy," Jake Rollow, a spokesman for Benson, told the Detroit Free Press. "It shows the lengths they will go to promote the proposals in their anti-democratic, un-American, ill-informed and unfunded package to roll back the successes of last year’s elections and silence the voices of Michigan’s electorate. It’s a shameful and embarrassing misuse of their authority."
Benson has alsoproposed in the Senate as a bunch of bills that "choose to ignore the data, truth, and best practices and promote policies that will silence the voices of all voters."
Last month, Benson was found to havestate law when she issued “guidance” on how absentee ballots should be evaluated.
South Carolina panel hears bill to expand absentee voting, allow same-day voting
A South Carolina House subcommittee considered legislation Thursday to expand absentee voting. © Provided by Washington Examiner House Bill 3822, filed Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, the South Carolina Legislature's longest-serving legislator, would expand voting through a 30-day no-excuse-needed period for absentee ballots, eliminate the requirement that mail-in ballots be certified by witnesses and allow for same-day voter registration.
State Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray decided that Benson did not follow the proper rule-making process when instructing voting clerks in October to presume the accuracy of absentee ballot signatures. Her guidance has since been declared invalid.
"The presumption is found nowhere in state law," Murray, a Republican-appointed judge, wrote in the ruling. "The mandatory presumption goes beyond the realm of mere advice and direction, and instead is a substantive directive that adds to the pertinent signature-matching standards."
Murray added that she trampled on the state's Administrative Procedures Act after she insisted that only ballots with “multiple significant and obvious” inconsistencies should be questioned.
Bensonin February that a statewide, risk-limiting election audit in Michigan, one of the states where the vote was contested by Trump, affirmed results of the 2020 general election. President Joe Biden won the Great Lakes State by 154,000 votes. In Antrim County, where a legal fight is still playing out, an audit conducted in December netted Trump .
Coronavirus pinatas, cathartic effigy, immigration limbo: News from around our 50 states
How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every stateStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.
Tags:, , , , , , ,
Judge has doubts on voter privacy in Arizona recount .
PHOENIX (AP) — A judge hearing a challenge to voter privacy policies during the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate's recount of 2.1 million 2020 election ballots in the county that includes metro Phoenix said Tuesday he is not convinced voter secrecy is being upheld. The comment from Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin came at the end of a lengthy hearing where he also declined to extend a previous judge's order that auditorsThe comment from Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin came at the end of a lengthy hearing where he also declined to extend a previous judge's order that auditors hired by the Senate comply with state voter privacy laws -- at least until he hears more at a hearing on W