LANSING – State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) said today that he is pleased the House Elections Committee has approved his bill that would allow for consolidating precincts in the upcoming May special election. House Bill 4068 would help trim administrative costs communities and the state incur in an election. The bill now goes to the full House for approval.

“Elections cost money, and special elections cost the state and our communities additional money, and that’s what we are facing with the May ballot proposal,” said Yanez. “It is imperative that we do everything we can to conduct the election process efficiently and with as little cost to the taxpayer as possible. I’m pleased that House Elections Committee members passed this legislation unanimously in a bi-partisan fashion.”

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. HB 4068 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.

Warren City Clerk and former state Rep. Paul Wojno testified in support of the bill before the committee.

I’m appreciative of Rep. Yanez for introducing this legislation and taking the time to fully understand what municipal clerks deal with in setting up and running elections,” said Wojno.

“We’re on track to get this done in time for the May election, and I look forward to working with House and Senate members to get this approved and to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for his signature,” said Yanez. “Together we can save money for both the state and our local governments as voters go to the polls and cast their votes on this critically important issue.”