MICHIGAN, USA — A new ballot initiative that would amend the Michigan Constitution to include new rights for voters from Promote the Vote 2022 was announced Monday.
The ballot initiative seeks to amend the Constitution of Michigan Article II, Sections 4 and 7, which deal with the place and manner of elections and boards of canvassers.
The amendment would change the wording to the Michigan Constitution to allow for early voting, public funding of absentee ballot postage, secure drop boxes, ballot tracking and other early and absentee voting rules.
"This proposal provides voters with access to prepaid postage and secure official drop boxes funded by the state. It also requires a state funded absentee ballot tracking system to allow voters to track the whereabouts of their ballot and alert them if there is an issue with their absentee ballot and how they can fix it," said Aghogho Edevbie, All Voting is Local’s Michigan State Director.
In addition to new rights for Michigan voters, the proposed amendment would also focus on making the procedure for post-election audits more clear.
"Importantly, this initiative also adds important details to the Michigan Constitution regarding post-election audits. It requires audits to be conducted by state and county election officials and bars the involvement of officials of any political party," Edevbie added. "This is critical to ensure that election materials remain secure and that the secrecy of voters' ballots remains uncompromised."
In total, there are over a dozen proposed changes to Article II of the Michigan Constitution in the ballot proposal.
Policy highlights from Promote the Vote 2022's ballot proposal
- A week of early voting.
- Public funding for postage for absentee ballots.
- Secure ballot drop boxes and ballot tracking.
- Providing additional time for military and overseas voters to return their absentee ballots.
- Allowing voters to request an absentee ballot for all future elections.
- Ensuring elections are determined based solely on the votes cast by voters in the election.
Read the entire proposed amendment to the Michigan Constitution here.
The new ballot initiative seeks to build on the success of Ballot Proposal 3 of 2018, which amended the Constitution to include same-day voter registration, no-reason absentee voting and other changes to Michigan's election law. Ballot Proposal 3 passed overwhelmingly, with 80 of 83 counties voting yes in the 2018 elections.
“With the passage of proposal three in 2018, voters demanded equal access to no reason absentee voting. And today, more than 60% of Michigan voters use this option to make their voice heard. Voters consistently tell us that they like the extra time to be able to research what's on their ballot," said Shelly Weisberg, Political Director at the ACLU of Michigan.
Promote the Vote 2022 describes itself as a "coalition of organizations and individuals committed to ensuring Michigan has a voting system that works for all of us."
Several organizations were involved in the ballot initiative including Promote the Vote 2022, Voters Not Politicians, The ACLU of Michigan and All Voting is Local.
According to the Initiative and Referendum Petition Instructions of Michigan, 425,059 signatures are required for an initiative to amend the State Constitution to be put on the ballot. The petitioners have until July 11, 2022, at 5 p.m. to submit the signatures.
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