Bumstead and Michigan Senate Republicans introduce election integrity package

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jon Bumstead on Wednesday joined other Senate Republicans to formally introduce a legislative package aimed at strengthening and improving election integrity in Michigan.

“I believe it is important we do all we can legislatively to ensure our elections are conducted fairly and securely,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “The integrity of our elections should be a priority for every Michigander, and this legislation will strengthen voting integrity without disenfranchising voters.”

Over 30 bills were introduced as part of the election integrity package. Some of the proposed changes include improving security at ballot drop boxes, strengthening poll challenger and poll watcher rights, increasing transparency of the audit process, cleaning up outdated voter lists, and requiring photo identification for absentee and provisional ballots.

Senate Bill 288, sponsored by Bumstead, would make audits bipartisan and open to the public. The bill gives each major political party the right to appoint an election inspector to oversee audits. This legislation would also allow each political party to appoint two observers to monitor the audit process, and the secretary of state would be required to stream video of the audit live on their website.

SB 309, also sponsored by Bumstead, would strengthen the rights of poll challengers and poll watchers. Under the bill, poll challengers would be given the right to sit behind the processing table and observe the election process from a reasonable distance. A poll challenger would also have the right to challenge a ballot if an elector is not listed in the poll book or is claiming the identity of another individual, or if the photo identification being used appears fraudulent or invalid.

“I have continued to receive emails and phone calls from constituents in the months since the 2020 general election, and an overwhelming number of voters I talk to have lost trust in our state’s election process,” Bumstead said. “Voting is the foundation of our system of government, and it is my hope that this legislation helps our residents regain confidence that their elections are being conducted honestly.”

A website has been established to give constituents an opportunity to provide feedback on the newly introduced election integrity package. To view a full summary of the election integrity package, and to provide feedback directly to Bumstead, visit www.SenatorJonBumstead.com.

“As elected officials, I believe it is critical we listen to input from the people that elected us to represent them in state government,” Bumstead said. “The election integrity package is a top priority for many of our residents, and I am open to hearing their suggestions on the best way to strengthen and improve election integrity in Michigan.”

###