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Michigan voting bills more restrictive than Georgia's, says SOS Benson

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Michigan’s top election official on Thursday blasted Republican-backed voting bills that are pending in the Legislature, saying some would be more restrictive than a controversial new law in Georgia.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, said Georgia voters can get an absentee ballot if they include a driver’s license number on the mailed-in application. One of the Michigan measures would require voters to attach a photocopy their driver’s license to the application.

It “serves no other purpose than to make it harder for them to vote absentee,” she said during a virtual news conference with Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. “There’s no evidence or data or even precedent to suggest that that somehow would prevent voter fraud.”

Benson noted Michigan voters currently must sign an application. The signature is matched to the signature in the voter file. She said it is “much more difficult” to forge a signature than it is to photocopy a fake ID.

Benson accused GOP lawmakers of “doubling down on the big lie” — former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims that he lost reelection only because of mass voter fraud. Republicans have said it should be easier to vote and harder to cheat, though there is no evidence of widespread fraud.