LANSING – State Representative Henry Yanez (Sterling Heights) is introducing legislation that will allow the state to save money in the upcoming May special election by consolidating certain voting precincts. Having fewer precincts would help trim administrative costs communities and the state incur in an election.

“We have to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money, especially when the state is facing a shortfall of more than $400 million for this fiscal year,” said Yanez. “Streamlining government and running it more efficiently by consolidating precincts has the potential to create significant savings for state and local governments without making it more difficult for citizens to vote. It’s just common sense.”

Current law prohibits consolidating precincts for a general November election, a primary election immediately before a general November election, a statewide election or a federal election. Yanez’ bill would allow communities to consolidate precincts for a statewide election in certain instances such as the upcoming May special statewide election. When deciding to consolidate election precincts, an election commission would have to consider the number of choices a voter must make, the percentage of registered voters who voted at the last similar election in the jurisdiction and the intensity of interest of the electors concerning candidates and proposals to be voted on. Consolidated precincts cannot exceed 5,000 active registered voters.

“This legislation is a win-win for both state and local government,” said Warren City Clerk and former state Rep. Paul Wojno. “If adopted, there would be significant savings in reimbursement funds by the state of Michigan to all of Michigan’s local communities.”

“I thank Clerk Paul Wojno for bringing this idea to my attention to help both the state and our local governments by allowing clerks to consolidate election precincts for the upcoming special election,” said Yanez. “I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to move this bill quickly through the Legislature and onto Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for his signature so that we can get this in place in time for the May election.”