Michigan high court sends voting rights proposal to November ballot

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Supreme Court says a ballot proposal to expand voting rights and voting access in the state should be on the November ballot.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers deadlocked during a vote last Wednesday over whether to certify a voting rights ballot proposal seeking to make voting in elections easier and more accessible. The result was appealed, sending the matter to the state’s high court.

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More than 669,000 signatures were submitted in favor of the initiative, of which the state’s Bureau of Elections determined roughly 507,000 signatures are considered valid.

As part of their review process, the bureau thoroughly examines submitted petitions and their signatures, and takes samples to estimate the percentage of legitimate signatures. Bureau officials said Wednesday they have a confidence level of 100% that more than 507,000 signatures are valid, which surpasses the 425,059 signature requirement needed for a constitutional amendment to appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The bureau recommended to the board to certify the proposal to appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. The Board of State Canvassers does not always follow the bureau’s recommendations, though.

The initiative proposes a constitutional amendment that would institute the following:

  • Require nine days of early in-person voting,
  • Recognize the fundamental right to vote without harassing conduct,
  • Require military or overseas ballots to be counted if postmarked by election day,
  • Provide voter right to verify identity with photo ID or signed statement,
  • Provide voter right to single application to vote absentee in all elections,
  • Require state-funded postage for absentee applications and ballots,
  • Require state-funded absentee ballot drop boxes,
  • Only election officials may conduct post-election audits,
  • Allow donations to fund elections, which must be disclosed, and
  • Require canvass boards to certify election results based only on the official records of votes cast.

Click here to read the entire Promote the Vote 2022 proposal.

About the Authors:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.