We passed expanded voting rights in 2022. Here's how Proposal 2 is improving voting in Michigan.
Our vote is our voice, and making our voices heard is the bedrock of democracy. In 2022, Michigan voters took a stand for our democracy and access to the ballot by passing Proposal 2. Now that the voters have spoken, our elected leaders in Lansing must pass bills to put these expanded voting rights into law. So what are these laws, and how will they benefit Michigan voters? Here’s a breakdown:
Nine Days of Early Voting
Our lives can get busy, with work, school, child care and family. Proposal 2 requires at least nine consecutive days for early voting in the two weeks before Election Day in all statewide and federal elections! During early voting, early voting sites will be open for at least eight hours a day. Voting is important. Michigan voters and communities will now have more options and flexibility during elections!
Streamlining Absentee Voting and expanding secure drop boxes
We saw how popular and necessary absentee voting is during the COVID-19 pandemic. It remains a popular and accessible option for Michiganders to cast their votes. All Michigan voters can vote absentee, but Proposal 2 will also allow all voters to sign up to become a permanent absentee (“mail-in”) voter! Proposal 2 will also require the state to:
- Provide prepaid postage for all absentee ballots and ballot applications
- Improve ballot tracking systems to allow voters to track and receive improved updates about their absentee ballot and ballot application
- Inform voters of any issues with their absentee ballot via the new tracking system. Voters will get a chance to correct any signature-related issues with their ballot, which will make sure everyone’s voice is heard!
- Expand access to secure ballot drop-boxes by funding at least one drop-box in every community and one drop-box for every 15,000 registered voters in larger communities. These secure drop-boxes will be available 24/7 for forty days before Election Day!
Protecting voting rights for our servicemembers
Michigan voters who are members of the military or living overseas should be allowed to vote in every election! Under Proposal 2, absentee ballots of military and overseas voters must be counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received by their clerk’s office within six days of Election Day. Currently, these ballots are only counted if they are received by the time polls close on Election Day.
Voting without harassment or intimidation
Everyone should be able to vote without harassment, intimidation, or barriers at the ballot box. In 2021, Michigan lawmakers fueled by the Big Lie of a stolen election tried to pass a number of bills that would have caused extreme partisanship and conflict at the polls. For example, these bills would have allowed an unmanageable amount of partisan poll challengers at polling locations. Proposal 2 protects our fundamental right to vote by prohibiting any law, rule or regulation that would threaten our right to vote, like anti-voter legislation proposed in 2021.
Maintaining our Voter ID laws
Proposal 2 protects Michigan’s current Voter ID law that has worked for years and enshrines it into the state Constitution. All Michigan voters can cast their ballot by presenting an approved photo ID (like a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued ID) or sign an affidavit confirming their identity. Additionally, Proposal 2 expands the options for approved photo IDs – you can now use photo IDs from educational institutions and local governments!
Keeping our elections funded
Running elections costs money, and for many years, local clerks and governments have not had the funding they need from the state to administer elections, especially as turnout has steadily increased. To fill this gap, many local governments have been able to accept charitable donations to hire the election workers and buy the equipment they need. This came under attack in 2021, fueled by the Big Lie.
Proposal 2 will help ensure Michigan’s elections are funded and can run smoothly and safely by allowing local governments to continue to accept charitable donations to help administer elections. These contributions must be disclosed to the public and cannot be from foreign funds or sources.
Require our elections to be certified
When the county boards of canvassers don’t certify election results, we all lose. In 2020, we saw this happen in a number of counties over unfounded and unproven claims of fraud, delaying election results, costing taxpayer money and sowing doubt in our elections. Under Proposal 2, it is the duty of a board of canvassers to certify election results based solely on votes cast. The Board of State Canvassers will be the only body in Michigan authorized to certify results of statewide or federal elections. Neither the Board of Canvassers nor the Michigan legislature can override election results.
All of this will prevent county boards of canvassers from not certifying election results due to partisan or political reasons.
Proposal 2’s passage puts important protections for our voting rights and democracy in the state constitution. It also makes it easier and more convenient for Michigan voters to vote. Proposal 2’s will also support local clerks and election officials in their ability to execute elections, which is no easy task. Michigan voters made it clear when they passed Proposal 2: every eligible Michigan voter should have better access to the ballot regardless of the candidate they support, where they live, or the color of their skin.
Our vote is our voice. Proposal 2 enshrines our voting rights in the state constitution and will protect our freedom to vote and make our voices heard today and for generations to come.