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.
“Pvt. Karna served his country bravely in its time of greatest need,” Markkanen said. “As a fellow veteran, I’m honored to introduce a bill to memorialize his service and sacrifice in the Painsedale and South Range communities.”
“The governor’s new Good Jobs 2.0 proposal has a lot in common with Hollywood’s recent obsession with remaking classic movies; the only difference being, unlike many of the movies, the original Good Jobs program was terrible too,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “Michigan doesn’t need to lure coastal corporations into our state so we can have more big fancy ribbon cutting events. We need a real economic development strategy to support our struggling small businesses across Michigan.”
“There are so many Yoopers with Finnish heritage, making celebrating Finnish history all the more important in the Upper Peninsula,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “Saunas are essential to Finnish culture. Finns of all generations enjoy traditional saunas for cleansing and as a vital source of relaxation and socializing.”
“The U.P. depends on reliable mail service just like any urban area would,” said Rep. Greg Markkanen, R-Hancock. “It sure feels like, on a good day, the U.P. is merely forgotten. On days like today, we get targeted. If I had to choose, ignoring us would be preferable. It isn’t broke, please leave it alone. The federal government promises that only five non-management employees will be laid off, however, others may be required to transfer. Losing more of our jobs and citizens is not what the Upper Peninsula and the state of Michigan need right now.”