Election Reform Legislation Before Committee

Legislation to improve local elections that was sponsored by a local lawmaker is being reviewed in committee.

Republican State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township put forward a plan following changes to election law that resulted from voter passage of Proposal 3. Bollin served as the township clerk for 16 years prior to being elected to the House and says her legislation will give local governments the flexibility needed to make elections more efficient and effective. Bollin says common sense reforms to state government have been a priority for her, as local governments need new options to deal with changes in state election law. She says people want more efficient government and part of that is running efficient elections, without compromising the integrity of the election.

House Bill 5031 would amend the Michigan Election Law to expand the types of locations that could be used as polling places. The bill would provide that, unless it is owned by a person that is a sponsor of a political committee or independent committee, any privately owned building could also be designated as a polling place – giving local governments more options for precinct locations. House Bill 5032 would amend Michigan Election Code to increase the maximum number of electors allowed in a precinct from 2,999 to 5,000 beginning in 2022. Additionally, the bill would require city and township clerks to maintain a permanent absent voter list. The two bills are currently before the House Elections and Ethics Committee.

In response to the proposed legislation, Director of Communications for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Jake Rollow told WHMI they are neutral on the legislation at this time and would like to work with the sponsor and stakeholders to further assess the effects of changes to precincts and polling locations. (JM)

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