Good Day; thank you for reading the Vote Voiced Newsletter. The Michigan State Legislators have introduced 39 bills restricting Voter's rights. Not all bills are considered Voter Suppression. Some of the bills every Michigan Voters should worry about are summarized below. An informed Voter can use their voice.
PHONE ID LAWS - SB285, SB303, SB304
Eliminates the option to sign an affidavit in place of photo ID when voting in person. Instead, it requires absentee voters to include a copy of their photo ID when mailing in their absentee ballot application. Thus, it prevents ballots cast by voters who don’t show photo IDs from being counted on Election Day. In addition, voters attempting to “cure” their ballots and get them counted must present proof of residency in addition to photo ID even if they are in the poll book.
ABSENTEE VOTING - SB286, SB287, SB310
Limits voters’ use of drop boxes, prohibits pre-paid postage on absentee ballot return envelopes and bars the Secretary of State from sending absentee ballot applications to voters -- or making the application available on the SOS website.
VOTER REGISTRATION - SB302
Adds a statement to the voter registration application that the voter does not “claim voting residence or the right to vote” in another state.
CHALLENGES OF VOTERS - SB290, SB309
Eliminates non-partisan organizations from credentialing challenges, allows challengers from candidates and political parties, and expands the types of permitted challenges of voters.
ELECTION WORKERS & VOTERS - SB276
Allows poll challengers and poll watchers to videotape and take photographs in precincts and absentee counting rooms while tabulated votes.
BOARD OF CANVASSERS - SB273, SB283, SB296, SB297
Give unelected County Boards of Canvassers, whose role is to canvass the votes and certify our elections, discretionary powers over drop boxes, absentee ballot containers, and the clerks’ hiring of assistants to help conduct the canvass. Video surveillance is also required for all drop boxes. Expands the number of people on County Boards of Canvassers in large counties and requires at least two members of each political party to approve any action.
ELECTION INSPECTORS - SB294
Requires no more than two election inspectors from one political party for every one inspector from the other party.
AUDITS - SB275, SB288
Adds a partisan element to audits by allowing political parties to videotape audits and requiring clerks to appoint election inspectors from each party to conduct the audits (currently conducted by clerk staff).
ELECTION FUNDING - SB284, SB289
Prohibits the state and all local government units from accepting much-needed funding for election administration and requires that federal funding received for election purposes be returned if the Legislature does not appropriate it in a budget act within 90 days.
CITIZENS' INITIATIVES - SB280
It is harder for citizens to collect initiative petition signatures by reducing the signature-gathering period by 40 days. The new deadline for the November ballot would be mid-April rather than late May, eliminating one of the warmer months for signature collection.
SECRETARY OF STATE COMMUNICATIONS - SB305
It makes it a misdemeanor for the Secretary of State and county and local clerks to use their name or likeness on any election-related communications paid for with public money, including educational materials and election inspector recruitment.
IMPOSSIBLE DEADLINES FOR CLERKS - SB299
Creates a new, earlier deadline for clerks to finish counting ballots and report results to the County Board of Canvassers.