Election Law Reform Proposed in Michigan

Oct 13, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Michigan's secretary of state recently proposed election law reforms.

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Gordon recently introduced legislation to reform the state's election laws.

The package, known as the Secure and Fair Elections Initiative, would institute broad changes to the way elections are organized and conducted. Among other provisions, it would change campaign finance laws to increase transparency about where candidate funding originates, review Michigan's voter rolls to ensure they are up-to-date and only include eligible voters, streamline election day procedures to reduce errors, and change photo ID and absentee voter requirements, according to a release from Gordon's office.

In an interview with the Huron Daily Tribune, Gordon said a Pew Research study found 102.54 percent of eligible voters in Michigan are registered. Pointing out that this is a statistical impossibility, she asserted her belief that the SAFE Initiative will clean up voter rolls by removing deceased individuals and former residents who have relocated to other states. She said thousands of non-citizens are on the rolls, and she is working on separate legislation to tackle this issue.

Opponents of the SAFE Initiative say it will simply make voting more difficult. The Daily Tribune quoted Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer, who said "Johnson is making people who may be disabled or unable to get to their clerk's office jump through extra hoops to vote and prove why they need to vote absentee."