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Michigan Senate passes voter-fraud legislation, creating new felony offenses

The legislation passed with a bipartisan vote

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Mar. 22, 2019
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Mar. 22, 2019
(Bill Pugliano/Getty)
Updated: October 1, 2020 - 9:07am

The Michigan Senate has passed a series of bills that if enacted into law would make voter fraud a felony. 

The measures passed Wednesday by the upper chamber specifically address requesting a mail-in ballot under another person's name and filling out applications for multiple ballots.

Michigan is sending out mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

By the last day of September, more than 2.5 million Michiganders (32% of the state's population) had requested mail-in ballots. 

“Our government is based on the notion that people get to choose their elected voices in the capital. People need to have confidence that their elections are being conducted honestly, and that they can trust the results," said GOP state Sen. Kevin Daley, a sponsor of the legislation.

The bills also attempt to make felony offenses out of knowingly putting false information on a ballot and so-called "ballot harvesting." Putting fraudulent information on a ballot is now a misdemeanor in Michigan. 

The measures passed with bipartisan support in the GOP-controlled Senate. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has yet to say whether she will sign the legislation into law. 

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