No-reason absentee voting bill pushed in Michigan House

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republicans’ push to eliminate Michigan’s straight-party voting option may improve the odds of voters being allowed to cast absentee ballots for any reason.

A lawmaker is pushing for passage of “no-reason” absentee voting legislation next week. Voters could ask for an absentee ballot application in person at their clerk’s office without needing an excuse.

They currently must be 60 years or older, be out of town when polls are open or meet other criteria.

Republican Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons says her bill would alleviate potential longer lines if voters are prohibited from voting a straight ticket with one mark.

Critics of her legislation say voters also should be able to request an absentee ballot by mail for any reason.

If the bill clears the House, Senate Republicans may block it.

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