Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) bucked his fellow Republicans on Tuesday by vetoing a voter ID law crafted by GOP members of the state legislature, the Detroit Free Press reports:
Among the bills vetoed was one requiring photo ID for first voter registration or to obtain an absentee ballot, a requirement that African-American activists claimed was an attempt to deter voting by the urban poor.
Snyder said in a statement that “he appreciates the issue of ensuring voters are eligible and U.S. citizens, however this legislation could create voter confusion among absentee voters.”
Laws requiring residents to present state-issued photo IDs tend to disproportionately effect low-income American citizens — who also tend to vote Democratic — because they often lack the resources and the time to acquire the proper documentation.
Snyder also invalidated a requirement that voters check a box on an electoral ballot or application affirming they are citizens — which could have intimidated voters who didn’t understand the question or weren’t native English speakers — as well as new restrictions and requirements on the operations of third party groups registering voters in the state.
The latter measure bears a resemblance to laws passed in Florida, which were blocked by a federal judge, who ruled that restricting registration in common areas that voters frequent imposes an unconstitutional burden on voter registration efforts.