The 39 bills proposed in the GOP-led Legislature this week would require identification for new voters, prohibit prepaid absentee envelopes, limit the number of absentee dropboxes and bar the secretary of state from sending an absentee ballot unless requested, according to Bridge Michigan.
"If that legislation is not passed by our Legislature, which I am sure it will be, but if it's not signed by the governor, then we have other plans to make sure that it becomes law before 2022," Ron Weiser, chairman of Michigan’s GOP, stated in a video, as reported by The Detroit News.
Weiser revealed to the North Oakland Republican Club on Thursday Republicans’ plan of putting together various parts of their voting bills into a petition initiative that the Legislature could enact into law without Whitmer’s signature if it gets the required 340,000 signatures to get on the ballot.
The initiative wouldn’t allow the GOP to unilaterally change the state's constitution, according to The News.
Republican state Sen. Ruth Johnson dubbed the proposals "commonsense measures that will protect the integrity of our elections by safeguarding the right for people to vote and ensuring our elections are safe and secure," according to Bridge Michigan.
"I have a veto pen, and I am ready to use that for any bill that is looking to make it harder for people in our state to vote," Whitmer clarified her stance on the bills, according to The News.
Weiser said the new measures would give the state a chance for a "fair election in 2022."
Trump contested the results in Michigan and several other states, claiming without proof that voter fraud had occurred.
The Michigan effort also comes as Georgia signed into law changes that make absentee voting harder and Democrats in Congress are working on a bill that would expand voting rights by setting national standards.
Michigan's Democrats have claimed Republican efforts aimed at securing elections are really voter suppression in disguise. Republicans claim they are trying to prevent Democrats from centralizing elections, thus taking away control from local communities.
Michigan Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes noted that 67% of Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 that, among other changes, allowed for no-excuse absentee voting.
Weiser has also rebuffed calls for him to resign that started Friday after it emerged he called Whitmer and the female secretary of state and attorney general the "three witches'' and added that Republicans needed to be ready for the "burning at the stake" while at the North Oakland Republic Club, according to Michigan Live. He also made a reference to "assassination" when talking about two Republican congressmen from the state who voted to impeach Trump.
Weiser concluded that he should have chosen his words more "wisely" but said he had no plans to resign.