LANSING, Mich., June 14, 2023 — Legislation to implement Proposal 2 passed the House today. The landmark expansion of voting rights overwhelmingly supported by voters in November 2022 would ensure that ballot drop boxes are accessible to voters, voters could choose to receive an absent voter ballot before each election, and absent voter ballot applications and ballots have prepaid postage affixed on them, among other measures.
“One of our most sacred responsibilities as legislators is to ensure that we have free and fair elections. This package will aid in implementing the measures that voters overwhelmingly supported in Proposal 2,” said state Rep. Penelope Tsernoglou (D-East Lansing), chair of the House Elections Committee. “With Democrats in charge, voters can rest easy knowing that when the majority speaks on Election Day, their leaders will listen.”
Sixty percent of Michigan voters supported better access to the ballot box and the continuance of Michigan’s successful — and popular — vote-by-mail policies. Over 3 million people in Michigan voted absentee in the 2020 presidential election.
“I applaud the passion and dedication of voters who braved long wait times last November to let their voices be heard,” said state Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), sponsor of House Bill 4697, which would require one ballot dropbox for every 15,000 voters within a municipality. “Strengthening vote-by-mail and dropbox accessibility helps busy Michiganders exercise their rights and better serves the needs of urban and rural communities alike.”
Michigan’s bipartisan election panel rebuffed efforts to decertify Michigan’s remarkable 2022 midterm, which ushered in the first Democratic trifecta the state has seen in four decades and boasted the highest youth turnout in the nation.
“I am grateful for the partnership of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who worked with my office and clerks across the state to draft this bipartisan legislation,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “As we prepare for next year’s statewide elections, I stand ready to work with our clerks to implement the expanded constitutional protections for every Michigan voter.”
Other bills in the package include:
- HBs 4695–96: Implement nine days of early voting and allow for municipal and county agreements on early voting sites. (Tsernoglou)
- HB 4698: Expands the types of photo IDs allowed for elections. (State Rep. Kara Hope)
- HB 4699: Creates a permanent mail voter list. (State Rep. Erin Byrnes)
- HBs 4700–01: Revise the absent voter application and requires AV ballot applications to have prepaid postage. (State Reps. Carrie A. Rheingans and Jason Morgan)
- HB 4702: Changes the number of active registered electors in a city, ward, township or village (precinct) from 2,999 to 5,000. (Tsernoglou)