Bills would extend various filing periods, deadlines, easing workload of officials during elections

LANSING, Mich., March 10, 2021 — House Bills 4130 and 4131, sponsored by state Reps. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) and Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon), respectively, were passed by the House yesterday. The bills aim to reduce the bottleneck that occurs when large numbers of election reports and filings are submitted and must be processed by election officials in a short amount of time during election season. The bills would each extend the work period to process various filings, helping officials be more efficient.

Koleszar’s HB 4130 would adjust the filing timelines for lobbyist and lobbyist agent reports filed with the Secretary of State. The bill would revise the time periods and move both filing deadlines back by one month, allowing more time for these reports to be accurately processed.

“For people to trust the work we do here, they must first trust in our elections,” said Koleszar. “This bipartisan legislation has been recommended by the Auditor General and is something we can all agree is a necessary step to clean up our election process. We showed our ability to find common ground on this subject when a similar bill passed a committee vote last session, and I am happy to see it garner similar support this time around.”

Sabo’s HB 4131 would extend the timelines for election officials to review a candidate’s finance reports and for the filer of those reports to correct errors and omissions within a report.

“This past election cycle presented many new challenges due to the pandemic, but it also exposed many flaws that have existed long before COVID,” said Sabo. “One of those flaws is the bottleneck that happens when a large number of reports are submitted in a very short period of time, and our bills would go a long way in making that work more efficient and thorough.”

The bills are part of a five-bill bipartisan elections package that together seek to address efficiency issues in Michigan’s election process.