Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan surprised his fellow Republicans on Tuesday, refusing to sign two bills that would have required voters to show photo identification before obtaining an absentee ballot. The vetoes are an election-year rarity for the party, which has pressed for tougher voter identification laws nationwide.
They were passed by lawmakers two weeks ago. “These reforms will make a good election system even better by adding appropriate safeguards and improving transparency,” Mr. Snyder said. He said the vetoed bills “could create voter confusion among absentee voters.”
Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for the governor, said that confusion had to do with a part of the bills that would have made voters check a citizenship box before receiving a ballot. Mr. Snyder suggested that verification of a person’s citizenship should be done only once, when a voter is first registered, she said.