State Rep. Matthew Bierlein today opposed advancing plans that rush through misguided reforms without consideration for fair, effective and efficient elections processes.
The legislation, House Bills 4695-4702, are being billed as an implementation of Proposal 2 – which Michigan voters approved during the November 2022 election. But some bills go beyond the scope of that initiative, such as allowing for more than nine days of early voting within some municipalities and counties when Proposal 2 only required nine days.
The plans also change absent voter ballot registration parameters, water down signature verification requirements that help curtail fraud and eliminate other security measures.
“People have been loud and clear – they want an elections process that is secure and trustworthy,” said Bierlein, of Vassar. “Getting rid of key safeguards that help deliver secure elections takes us in the wrong direction and will only cause more people to lose faith in how elections are run going forward. I remain committed to fighting for an elections process in our state that is effective and efficient for voters and people who oversee them.”
House Bills 4695-4702 would undermine election integrity in Michigan through:
- Unequal voting access: The Democrat bills 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. The bills would also let clerks unequally extend early voting beyond the nine days required under the Constitution — creating further disparities in voting access.
- Weakened election security: The Democrat plan 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. The bills would also decrease signature verification standards and make it more difficult to reject fraudulent ballots.
- Post-election voting: The bills would 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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