House committee OK’s no-reason absentee voting

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan voters could cast an absentee ballot for any reason under legislation pending on the floor of the state House.

The bill approved by a committee Wednesday would let voters go to their clerk’s office, show identification and ask for an absentee ballot.

Absentee voters now are supposed to be 60 or older, be out of town when the polls are open or meet other criteria.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons of Alto, says expanding absentee voting could alleviate longer lines on Election Day if Michigan eliminates the straight-ticket option that allows voters with a single mark to vote one party for every partisan office. Lyons has scheduled a hearing Thursday on a Senate-passed bill — which she supports — to do away with the straight-party option.

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