LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed four election reform bills approved by Republicans in the state legislature this year, arguing the bills perpetuated continuing beliefs that the 2020 election was stolen - despite audits from officials determining it not to be so.
Whitmer sent the election bills back to the legislature during an NAACP dinner with the organization's Detroit chapter. "I will have no part in any effort that grants an ounce of credence to this deception, so injurious to our democracy," said Whitmer in a letter to House Republicans.
The bills would have amended Michigan state election law to prohibit tabulators from being connected to the internet, limit access to voter files, mandate training for political parties and groups that appoint election challengers, as well as expand polling locations to include private settings.
"Tonight I’m going to sign the veto letter," Whitmer said during the dinner. "And if they want to send me the other 35 they will meet the same fate."
"It’s clear Gretchen Whitmer isn’t interested in protecting democracy," said the Republican party in a statement. "She’s more interested in grand standing and pandering rather than strengthening the security of our elections. This will change when we retire her next year and elect a new Republican Governor."
While some of the election legislation coming out of the legislature has received bipartisan support, many of the bills have been criticized by Democrats for prolonging the false belief that issues relating to the state's voting systems exposed it to security threats that enabled illegal changes to votes.
The four election bills that arrived on Whitmer's desk last week would do the following:
- HB 4837 - Allow only specific people, including the Secretary of State, clerks from each county, city, and township to access voter files.
- HB 4838 - Prohibit electronic poll books from being connected to the internet on election day.
- HB 4492 - Expand the types of places where elections can be held to include private locations.
- HB 4528 - Require the Secretary of State to provide comprehensive training to county clerks, political parties, and other organizations that employ election challengers.
With the exception of HB 4528, which Whitmer argued is "worth further consideration" if the department had the necessary funding to accomplish it, the governor showed little support for the bills.
Local clerks did back HB 4492
You can read her entire letter below: