State Rep. Brian BeGole today voted against a Democrat plan to hijack a previously approved ballot proposal and fundamentally revamp Michigan’s elections process despite lingering questions about efficiency.
Instead of simply implementing new requirements that were contained within Proposal 2 during the November 2022 election, House Democrats passed bills that compromise election security, weaken signature verification and create different parameters for early voting across Michigan.
“These plans go around the will of the voters,” said BeGole, of Antrim Township. “Many people have concerns about the effectiveness of our state’s election process. They have made those concerns clear. But instead of working to provide commonsense reforms that will give people a system they can trust, these bills remove safeguards meant to curtail fraud and conduct elections securely.
“This dismantling and re-purposing of our state’s elections process will disenfranchise voters and make it harder for our local officials and staff who oversee our elections.”
BeGole underscored his reasons for voting against the package, contained within House Bills 4695-4702, and how they would undermine election integrity in Michigan:
- Unequal voting access: House Bill 4699 would authorize state and local officials to send unsolicited absentee applications to the voters of their choice — enabling partisan actors to prioritize their own supporters. Another bill, HB 4695, would let clerks unequally extend early voting beyond the nine days required under the Constitution — creating further disparities in voting access.
- Weakened election security: House Bill 4697 would change a bipartisan law that requires security camera monitoring of absentee ballot drop boxes. The change means drop boxes in some areas may no longer be monitored. HB 4700 would decrease signature verification standards and make it more difficult to reject fraudulent ballots.
- Post-election voting: HB 4700 would also allow people to register to vote and cast a ballot even after polls close on election day. The proposal comes on top of a law passed earlier this year to count overseas ballots received after election day even without a postmark verifying that the ballot was submitted on time.
The plans now move to the Senate for consideration.
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