LANSING – State Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing) introduced two bills today aimed at making voting easier for Michigan residents.
Schor’s first bill, House Bill 4477, would allow a voter to take a photograph of himself or herself (but not a photo of his/her ballot) in a polling place. Schor observed that many voters take pictures of themselves voting and inserting their ballots into the voting machine and then post those photos on social media sites like Facebook. According to the Secretary of State’s rules and interpretations of election law, taking those photos is actually illegal and the voter’s ballot can be invalidated. Schor noted, “With social media as prevalent as it is, people should be excited about voting and should be allowed to take pictures of themselves voting to share with their families and friends. We shouldn’t be punishing voters for their enthusiasm, especially when most don’t realize they’re breaking the law.”
Schor’s second bill, House Bill 4478, would allow a voter who is unable to sign his or her name on an election document to execute the election document where a signature is required either by making his or her mark or by using a signature stamp. Schor noted that this legislation was crafted in response to an issue that arose locally during a recent election cycle and was documented in the Lansing State Journal by Mark Mayes. Under current law, a person can make his or her mark on a ballot but cannot use a signature stamp. “I’m hopeful this bill makes voting easier for residents who cannot sign their name on an election document,” Schor noted. “These individuals ought to be able to use a signature stamp if that’s what they prefer and elect to do.”