Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Neyer: Latest election reforms jack costs, cut corners on security
RELEASE|October 10, 2023
Contact: Jerry Neyer

State Rep. Jerry Neyer today pushed back against additional bills moving through the Legislature that create more questions than answers regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of Michigan’s elections system.

Proposals advanced by the Michigan House last week expand the automatic voter registration process. This process usually involves interactions with certain government agencies like the Secretary of State. Information gathered from participating agencies is transmitted to election officials to create a new voter record or update an existing registration.

“It’s not the government’s role to tell citizens that they must register to vote, and many people would prefer their personal information not be shared and distributed across multiple state agencies,” said Neyer, of Shepherd. “People I talk with every day are worried about the high costs they are seeing and government becoming a bigger and more burdensome part of their lives. These bills don’t address those priorities and only double down on big government philosophies.”

Neyer highlighted added costs for taxpayers that will come with the plans, including printing, mailing, postage, IT and possible additional employees for any department or agency designated as one that handles automatic voter registration or verification.

“This isn’t just free to do,” Neyer said. “There’s a cost associated, and that cost will ultimately fall to hard-working taxpayers – all while offering nothing for the quality of our state and local elections.”

Additionally, the bills raise election security questions. If an individual who is not eligible to vote becomes registered to vote under the expanded automatic process and votes, that individual is presumed to have a defense because they were registered by the Secretary of State instead of by their own motivation.

The plans, House Bills 4983-86, continue attempts to overhaul the state’s elections process for supposed access while creating significant integrity concerns. Bills advanced by Democrat majorities in June weaken election security and create unequal voting access for communities by allowing state and local officials to send unsolicited absentee applications to voters of their choice – enabling partisan actors to prioritize their own supporters.

“These proposals that we have seen go through the Legislature amount to one party taking a mile after being given an inch with what voters approved through Proposal 2,” Neyer said. “This only further erodes trust in our elections system and government process as a whole.”

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