Governor Rick Snyder has rejected legislative attempts to require first-time and absentee voters to show a photo I.D. and to affirm their U.S. citizenship.
Snyder said in a veto letter that “voting rights are precious and we need to work especially hard to make it possible for people to vote.” He said the measures would create too much confusion.
The governor also vetoed a bill to require state-mandated training for groups that conduct voter registration drives.
Opponents of the measures say they would deter some people from voting, including the poor, elderly, and young people.
Republicans, including Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, said the bills were reasonable ways to ensure only people who are supposed to vote cast ballots.
The governor did sign 11 other bills in the package. But G.O.P. leaders in the Legislature expressed disappointment in their Republican governor’s decision to veto some of their work.
Democrats praised the decision as “courageous.”
Bills in the elections package that were signed into law include a new requirement to make ballot campaigns share a copy of their petitions with state elections officials before they gather signatures, and a law that makes it easier to find out when a new political party is organizing.