Gov. signs election reform bills to boost transparency
LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation to increase election transparency, prevent election fraud and provide consistency across all voting locations.
The election reform bills provide for better documentation of campaign funding and increase penalties for neglecting to follow regulations.
“These reforms will make a good election system even better by adding appropriate safeguards and improving transparency,” Snyder said.
Most of the bills are based on reforms proposed by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.
“There is nothing more sacred to democracy than integrity in our elections - safeguarding the principle of one citizen, one vote,” said Johnson. “Our system is the best in the world and I encourage every voter who can do so to register and vote to have their voice heard on Election Day. These measures, along with electronic poll books and post-election audits, will work together to ensure integrity in the process.”
The governor signed 11 bills regarding election reform. In addition, the governor vetoed three bills.
Senate Bill 751 streamlines the voter registration process.
H.B. 5062 and S.B. 752 ensures proper handling of election materials by establishing election clerk education programs as well as a post-election review process.
H.B. 5059 and S.B. 753 requires any political party attempting to qualify as a new recognized party in Michigan to report on their spending.
H.B. 5058 prohibits the use of campaign funds to pay for a candidate’s legal expenses in cases unrelated to running for office.
S.B.s 823, 824 and 825 improve transparency of the election process.
H.B. 5297 allows members of the U.S. armed forces and overseas U.S. citizens to vote in state and local elections by absentee ballot.
H.B. 4656 prohibits the name of any elected official or any person running for official office to appear on any ballot related materials. It is already law that no candidate can display material within 100 feet of a polling place. With regard to an absentee ballot, the envelope and related materials is identified as a polling place, therefore no official names may appear on the envelope. Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on the bills.