Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Proposals 1 and 2 on the ballot Nov. 8 – signaling their desire for more government transparency and voting access.
A quick rundown of the proposals:
- Proposal 1 requires annual financial disclosures from the governor, attorney general, secretary of state and legislators and restricts term limits in the Legislature to 12 total years (previously, people were limited to eight years in the Senate and six years in the House)
- Proposal 2 solidifies voting rights, including nine days of early voting, allowing people to sign an affidavit to vote if they forgot their ID, requiring absentee drop boxes, only allowing election officials to conduct post-election audits and requiring canvass boards to only certify results based on official records of votes cast
1. Voting results available sooner?
Early voting is not the same as absentee voting. Early voting will be new in Michigan, thanks to Proposal 2.
Starting next year, people can vote at their clerk’s office in the nine days prior to an election – and feed their ballot into a tabulator instead of a drop box. Unlike absentee ballots, election officials won’t have to do anything with these early ballots on Election Day.
“There’s no absentee processing that needs to be done after polls close. So that will reduce the delay in us getting our results back – that will be huge, both for the voters and the clerks,” said Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters Not Politicians, which pushed for the change.
We can expect our voting results to be available earlier in the night because of this, Wang said.
It will take extra preparation from voting officials to be ready for these changes, said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, but there is time to prepare.
2. Even higher voter turnout?
Michigan set a state record for voter turnout in a midterm election this year, with more than 4.4 million votes cast. Wang expects that record won’t stand for long.
“It’s really exciting to see record turnout,” Wang said. “But we’re expecting that that turnout will keep increasing over time, as people witness that when they vote, it matters.”
Other new voter reforms in Michigan have led to increased voter turnout lately, Wang believes. No-reason absentee voting has helped increase participation – plus, fair redistricting has led to more close races, boosting participation, Wang said.
Increased voting access from Proposal 2 just adds to that, she said.
“It sounds corny, but it was a big day for democracy,” Wang said.
This story was originally published by MLive. Read more here: https://www.mlive.com/politics/2022/11/5-long-term-impacts-proposals-1-2-could-have-on-michigan.html