Jessica Mathews /

Poll challenger training legislation sponsored by a local lawmaker and former clerk passed the House Tuesday.

HB 6124 is sponsored by Republican State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township, where she served as a clerk for 16 years before being elected to the state House.

The legislation would require the Secretary of State to create a comprehensive training program for county clerks, political parties and other organizations that wish to designate poll challengers.

Bollin said as a former clerk, generally if there were any challengers she always invited them in, saying they play an important role and help run good elections. She stressed a need for education, saying poll challengers play an extremely important role and they have a place, which is all part of the process.

Bollin added that she also thinks inspectors need more robust training in the area, to know how to handle a challenge.

Bollin said there are a lot of best practices that need to be put into statute, adding she was really surprised at the lack of universal continuity and understanding of the law regarding the process for a challenger.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed similar legislation in 2021. Bollin says the plan now includes the funding the Governor had requested.

Bollin commented the first time the bill went through the Chamber it passed 105-4 with very broad support because it’s good policy. She said they have now put in the appropriation, which was the hiccup before, and she’s hopeful it will get over the finish line and be signed by the Governor.

AP Photo.