What are the Changes to Michigan's Election Laws?
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed a bill package into law that implements Ballot Proposal 22-2 (also known as “Prop 2”), a proposal to amend the state constitution to add provisions regarding elections. The package includes several changes which will alter how Michigan residents vote in the state. The new laws are as follows:
Ballot tracking system
Senate Bill 339 establishes a website for Michigan residents to track their ballots. The website will provide a notification when a vote is received and counted. It will also inform voters of any errors and offer a solution to remedy them.
Nine days of early voting
Senate Bill 367 requires at least nine days of early voting before each statewide and federal election so people can find time to vote without facing lines on election day. The bill also authorizes pre-processing and early tabulation of absentee ballots, which should result in quicker results after polls close on Election Day.
Ability to fix clerical errors
Senate Bill 370 implements requirements to allow voters to fix clerical errors with their ballots. It also requires prepaid postage for all absentee ballot applications and envelopes.
Other forms of ID
Senate Bill 373 allows voters to use their U.S. passport, tribal photo ID card, military ID card, or student ID in addition to a driver’s license to identify themselves when they show up to vote. Voter registration is still required to cast a ballot.
Early disclosure of election results
House Bill 4696 makes disclosing an election result from an early voting site before Election Day a Class E felony against Public Trust with a statutory maximum of five years imprisonment.
House Bill 4699 establishes a permanent absentee voter list, making it possible for voters to fill out a single application to vote by mail and have a ballot mailed to them in all future elections.
Increased size of election precincts
House Bill 4702 increases the maximum size of an election precinct from 2,999 active registered electors to 5,000.
Other initiatives related to Prop 2
In May 2022, Gov. Whitmer signed executive directive 2022-04, instructing all state departments and agencies to identify and assess potential opportunities to help voters register and gain access to reliable information about voting.
In addition, Senate Bill 13, which was signed into law in February, moved the state’s presidential primary to February. Last May, Senate Bill 259, which allows military and overseas ballots to be received and counted within six days of an election, was signed into law.
Help is available
The municipal attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer your questions related to Michigan election law. To learn more, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.