State Rep. Greg Markkanen today underscored common-sense election reforms he helped advance through the Michigan House today – plans which ensure the state’s elections process will run more smoothly.
“There were many questions and concerns regarding the November 2020 election and how our state’s elections system operated,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “People wanted an elections process they could better understand and have faith in – and we have delivered with these proposals.
“The issues the plan addresses are not far-right conspiracies. That has long been political posturing from Democrats who didn’t want to admit there are ways Michigan can conduct its elections more efficiently and effectively. These are real solutions to issues that arose.”
The plans, which have received final legislative approval and now go to the governor, require monthly voter roll clean-up by the Secretary of State and local clerks – allowing clerks to remove dead citizens from voter rolls. The plan also creates a chain of custody for absent voter ballots and creates more robust documentation for ballot box retrievals.
The documentation will include the date ballots are collected from each drop box, the number of ballots collected, who collected them and where the drop box is located. For municipalities that do not pre-process ballots, clerks must maintain a record of absent voter ballots that were delivered to counting boards or precincts.
An extra day will also be added for ballot preprocessing, after only one day was allowed in 2020. The plan extends preprocessing hours, applies preprocessing rules to all November and August elections going forward and extends them to more communities to promote more uniformity.
“The November 2020 election was the first general election in Michigan where we saw no-reason absentee voting,” Markkanen said. “Legislators saw what was working for people and what wasn’t – as well as what was working for those who conduct our elections and what wasn’t – and came together to make adjustments. We do this with numerous other laws every day in the Legislature. Despite the intense political rhetoric, it is important that the Legislature has continued to fight for a better elections process for our state.
“This is about good policy, not political grandstanding.”
The proposals are contained within Senate Bills 8 and 311, as well as House Bills 4491 and 6071.
State Reps. Greg Markkanen and Dave Prestin expressed frustration after Michigan’s request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was recently rejected despite major damage to the Upper Peninsula between April and May.
Thanks to the most recent round of Going PRO Talent Fund grants, businesses in Gogebic and Houghton counties will receive nearly $90,000 in funding to help local workers receive the training they need to gain and retain high-skill, high-wage careers.