89.1 WEMU

Michigan State Senate Passes Online Voter Registration Bills

Mar 16, 2018

Ballot Box
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

You might soon be able to register to vote from the comfort of your home.  Lawmakers in the state Senate passed a bill Thursday for online voter registration.


It would require the state to create an online application.  But the state would also have to make sure the person applying is a qualified voter in the state and has a valid drivers’ license or state identification.

“We just think this is one more tool and one more way to make it easy for folks to apply online,” said bill sponsor, Senator Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan).

Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren) introduced similar bills in the past.  He says this is a good way to get younger people registered.

“We’re talking about a generation that is very technologically savvy, and we almost need to speak their language when it comes down to things like this."

The Secretary of State applauds the move.  She says it’ll make it easier for people to register, and make it easier for her department to verify and keep track of voters.

But some are concerned about potential hacking.

Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) was the lone no vote against the bills. 

“People can take advantage of little loopholes that are being put in place with this legislation and it’s for that reason and the security of our voting process that I urge a no vote on these bills,” he said.

The bills are now headed to the state House for consideration.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org