Rep. Calley legislation seeks to improve online voter registration

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Committee hears testimony in support from Secretary of State

State Rep. Julie Calley, of Portland, today testified before the House Elections and Ethics Committee in support of her legislation to improve the state’s online voter registration standards.

Her bill requires the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) to develop and maintain an internet-based voter registration interface.

“With over 30 states establishing an online voter portal, it’s time that Michigan also does so,” said Calley, vice chair of the committee. “We have one department that oversees both driver’s licenses and voter registrations, which will make it that much easier for the taxpayers. We can do this in a manner that secures voter information as well as the integrity of the election process.”

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson followed Calley’s testimony, also speaking support of the legislation.

The online portal will:

  • Connect with the driver’s license and official personal ID card files for authentication purposes;
  • Confirm the identity of an applicant under a process developed by the SOS, including verifying the applicant’s date of birth, the last four digits of their Social Security number, the driver’s license or personal ID card number and the name and eye color on the card;
  • Require the applicant’s assent to submit an application electronically and to use their digitized signature from an application for a driver’s license or personal ID card; and
  • Issue a receipt to the applicant.

Calley’s bill partners with other legislation requiring anyone who has submitted an electronic voter registration application to vote in person and provide identification if that individual had not previously voted in person in Michigan.

Supporting Calley’s legislation are the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Michigan Association of County Clerks and Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

House Bill 5548 remains under consideration by the committee.