Michigan Senate GOP Election Integrity Package

Michigan residents must have complete confidence in the fairness of the elections that determine their representatives, and Senate Republicans are proposing policy reforms to do just that – restore confidence in our elective form of government.

  • Changes to Ballot Dropbox Security Requirements
    • New ballot drop boxes must be approved by the Secretary of State and the County Board of Canvassers.
    • Ballot drop boxes are required to be monitored with a high-quality video and proper lighting. A record of the video must be maintained 30 days after certification.
    • Drop boxes must be clearly labeled with language describing that ballot harvesting is illegal.
    • Clerk staff must accompany absentee ballots when they are being collected and in transit.
  • Establish Chain of Custody for Absentee Ballots
    • Only authorized individuals can pick up absentee ballots from drop boxes.
    • Ballots must be transported in approved containers.
    • Each pickup or drop off must be documented, including the date collected, the name of the individual who collected them, and the location of the drop box.
  • No Absentee Ballots in Drop Boxes on Election Day
    • Voters are not permitted to use a drop box after 5pm the day before the election.
  • Make Audits Bipartisan and Open to the Public
    • Each major political party can appoint an election inspector to oversee an audit, and each political party could also appoint two observers to monitor the audit process.
    • The Secretary of State would be required to live video stream the audit on their website.
  • Video Recording of the Audit Process
    • Allows authorized individuals from each political party to attend, observe and record the audit proceedings.
    • Allows for live video coverage to be provided by a clerk’s office during the tabulation of votes. Video coverage must include date and time indicators and be recorded. Recorded video must be retained for 40 days after an election.
  • Video and Audio Recording of Vote Tabulation
    • Allow individuals to record video or audio at any place where votes are being tabulated. Any video or audio must not contain any personal identifying information.
  • Expand Challenger and Poll Watcher Rights
    • 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,
      • an elector is claiming the identity of another individual,
      • or the photo identification being used appears fraudulent or invalid.
  • Allow Only Partisan & Campaign Challengers
    • Only a political party or a campaign can provide election challengers at a polling location.
    • A challenger must display credentials with their name, title of “Challenger,” and the name of the organization.
  • Require Challenger Training and Accountability
    • Require the Secretary of State to establish a comprehensive training for challengers.
    • A challenger’s training must be completed no less than 3 days before an election, and the training will be considered up to date for three years after the date of the training.
    • The Secretary of State and the challenger must sign an affidavit confirming the training has occurred, and the Secretary of State must maintain paperwork.
  • Absentee Ballot Count Board Reforms & Challenger Shift Changes
    • Any absentee voter counting board, a standalone or one formed by an agreement of municipalities, shall allow 2 challengers from each party for every 2,999 ballots. One additional challenger can be added for each additional 2,999 ballots.
    • If the board continues to work after the polls close on election day, those challengers can be replaced if they fulfill the normal requirements of a challenger.
  • Photo ID Requirement for Absentee Ballot Application
    • A voter must present or attach a photo identification when submitting their absentee ballot application. If a voter does not attach their photo ID, then they will receive a provisional ballot.
  • No mass mailing of absentee ballot applications
    • An elector can only be provided an absentee ballot application upon their own request.
  • Prohibit pre-paid postage on absentee ballots
    • A city or township is prohibited from providing pre-paid postage on absentee ballot envelopes.
  • Pre-processing of Absentee Ballots
    • Allows for clerks to begin the pre-processing of absentee ballots between 10 am and 8pm the Monday before the election.
  • No affidavits for in-person voting
    • Voters are required to present a photo ID for in-person voting.
    • If they cannot provide a photo ID, then they will be provided a provisional ballot.
  • Photo ID Requirement for Provisional Ballots
    • If a voter uses a provisional ballot, they must verify their identity with a local clerk via a photo ID within 6 days of an election for their vote to be tabulated.
    • If a state ID cannot be obtained due to financial hardship, a fee waiver may be granted by the Secretary of State.
  • Military Electronic Voting
    • A member of the U.S. Military, utilizing a Common Access Card (CAC), may vote electronically if they believe they will not be in their voting jurisdiction on election day.
  • Signature Verification Requirements and Training
    • The signature verification process must be objective without the presumption of validity of any signature that is to be verified.
    • The Secretary of State must require signature verification training for all local clerks and precinct inspectors.
  • Balanced Precinct Count Training
    • Clerks must train precinct workers to recognize best practices to maintain a balanced precinct, including checking the tabulators and the vote count every hour.
  • Public Posting of Clerks Who Fail to Train or Provide Continued Education
    • 45 days after an election, the Secretary of State must submit a report to the legislature of each county, city, and township clerk who are not current with their training or continued education.
    • The requirement applies to the clerks as well as the workers they are responsible for training.
    • The names of all individuals will also be posted on the Secretary of State website.
  • Voter Registration Affirmation
    • An individual must affirm on their voter registration that they are not registered to vote in any other jurisdiction.
  • Qualified Voter File Access
    • Only the Secretary of State, a designated voter registration agency, or a county, city, or township clerk can access the Qualified Voter File.
  • Updates to the Qualified Voter File
    • Every March, the Secretary of State must request information from recognized multistate compacts to verify current residence status of electors and follow procedures for removal or confirmation within 60 days.
    • The Secretary of State must provide a report of the activity to the Legislature.
    • August 1 of each year, the Secretary of State must detail on their website the total number of voters who moved out of state, total voters who moved in state, total number of in-state duplicate voter registrations, total number of electors determined to be deceased and the results of investigations into improper voting activity.
  • Deceased Voter Removal Process
    • County clerks can access the Qualified Voter File and flag, but not remove, deceased voters.
    • Every two weeks, a county clerk will email township clerks an updated list of deceased individuals over 18. This process will increase to once per week 45 days out from an election.
  • Pre-registration of 16-Year-Olds
    • Individuals can pre-register to vote if they are between 16 and 17.5 years of age, they are being issued a driver’s license or state ID, and they are a citizen of the U.S.
    • The individual shall not be placed in the Qualified Voter File until they reach the age of 18.
    • The Secretary of State must confirm if an individual is deceased or has moved prior to placing them in the Qualified Voter File.
  • 100 Day Canvas requirement for an initiative petition
    • The Board of State Canvassers must complete the canvass of an initiative petition within 100 days of the petition being submitted to the Secretary of State.
  • Full text of Initiative and Constitutional Proposals on All Ballots
    • The full text of any ballot initiative or constitutional amendment must be provided with any in-person or absentee voter ballot.
  • Early Voting 10 Days before Election Day
    • Requires early voting be available the second Saturday before election day.
    • Polls are required to be open from 8am – 5pm for early voting, and local election officials must post date, time and locations to the public.
    • Any vote cast using early voting will be tallied but results not released prior to the close of polls on Election Day.
  • Tabulated Results Timeline Extension
    • Local clerks will be permitted to submit their physical, tabulated results (which have already been submitted electronically) and paperwork to the county by noon the next day, rather than immediately upon completion, which is required now.
  • Expand Board of Canvassers for Large Populations
    • If a county has a population over 200,000, then the board of canvassers will be expanded to six.
    • If a county has a population over 750,000, then the board of canvassers will be expanded to eight.
  • Election Inspector Ratio Reform
    • Partisan election inspectors in voting precincts must be as close to 1:1 as possible.
    • If the ratio is not 1:1, then the local clerk must submit a report to the Secretary of State detailing what efforts were taken to try and make the ratio 1:1.
    • The ratio cannot exceed 2:1 for partisan election inspectors.
  • No name or likeness of local clerks or the Secretary of State on Election Materials
    • A clerk of the Secretary of State is prohibited from using their name or likeness on any communication materials promoting election related activities.
  • No 3rd Party Money
    • No unit of local government can accept money from a 3rd party entity for election related activities or equipment.
    • By July 1 of odd numbered years, and March 1 and July 1 of even numbered years, the Secretary of State must provide a report to the legislature detailing their contracts with 3rd parties for election related activities.
  • Legislative Approval of Federal Money
    • The state cannot accept federal money for election-related activities unless approved by a majority of member elected and serving in the House of Representative and Senate.
    • If the money is not appropriated within 90 days, then the funds must be returned.

Do you have any comments regarding this bill package?  I want to hear from you.

Election Reform