October 24, 2018

Ballot Measures: Michigan

Michigan has no early voting so November 6 is make-or-break for these issues

by Chris Thomas

Photo by William Recinos

Michigan has three ballot measures up for consideration this year. Of these, two have the potential to reshape the way that elections are conducted in Michigan.

Proposal 2

If passed, Proposal 2 would transfer the responsibility for drawing Michigan’s State Senate, State House, and US House maps from the State Legislature to an independent commission made up of 13 randomly selected registered voters.

Impact: Major — Proposal 2’s redistricting system requires bipartisanship to function and offers no fallback to the state legislature or governor. It is likely to produce fair, competitive districts.
Support: Mixed — The measure enjoys bipartisan support with a vocal minority of Republicans opposing it on the grounds that the commissioners would be “absolute neophytes… not having a clue about redistricting”

Proposal 3

If passed, Proposal 3 would add the following eight voting policies to the state constitution

  1. Secret Ballot — Michigan already uses these but it strengthens the language.
  2. Military Ballots — Enshrines existing requirements for providing military ballots into the constitution.
  3. Registration (by mail) — Allows registration 15 days before the election.
  4. Registration (in person) — Allows registration in person through election day and allows registration at the polls.
  5. Straight party ticket voting — Requires that voters be allowed to vote a straight party ticket rather than having to vote for each candidate individually.
  6. Automatic Registration — Voter registration will be an opt-out process when applying for any state ID.
  7. No Excuses Absentee Voting — Allowed up to 40 days before the election.
  8. Results Auditing — Enshrines existing audit rules into the Constitution.

Impact: Major — Proposal 3 would give Michigan some of the most protective and inclusive voting laws in the country
Support: Bipartisan — Only a scattered few Republican holdouts are in opposition

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