Bollin-Led Election Reform Measures Pass House
March 10, 2021
By Mike Kruzman & Jon King / email@example.com
State bills calling for election reform being championed by a local lawmaker have passed through the House, while opponents argue that some of the legislation will limit voter access.
Republican State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township, who chairs the House Elections and Ethics Committee, has targeted the state’s Qualified Voter File (QVF) following an audit that she says suggested a need for better procedures to remove or update information for voters with birthdates that indicate they are 120 years old. A release from her office states that outdated information in the QVF led to numerous households receiving absent voter applications for people that have been deceased for years. Bollin said that leaving deceased people on voter rolls is an open invitation to fraud. House Bills 4127 and 4128 would set up procedures to update or remove records if a person hasn’t voted since November 2000 or has a placeholder date of birth.
However, House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski of Scio Township argued the bills are “nothing more than a smear campaign designed to instill mistrust in our elections,” while Rep. Darrin Camilleri, a Trenton Democrat, said that the legislation, "punishes those who have not voted in recent years instead of inviting and encouraging them to participate in our elections.” Camilleri added that if election accountability and transparency was the goal, "then we should start with accountability for the eighteen House Republicans who pushed unfounded conspiracy theories, encouraged violence, and brought fake electors to the doors of our Capitol in hopes of subverting the will of Michigan voters and preventing the peaceful transition of power.”
Other bills in the package (House Bills 4129-31) require the Secretary of State to publish a list of local clerks who are not up to date with continuing education and training, along with adjusting due dates for campaign finance statements and lobby reports.
Additionally, two measures sponsored by Bollin would give local clerks flexibility as absentee voting becomes more popular. House Bill 4134 would allow voting precincts to expand in size from 2,999 registered voters to 4,000 active voters. This would reduce the number of precincts, allowing clerks to assign poll workers and allocate election equipment to better help count absentee ballots. House Bill 4135, meanwhile, would mandate any city or township with more than 6,000 registered voters to establish an absent voter counting board.
The bills received bipartisan support in the House and now go to the Senate for further consideration.