SENATE BILL No. 10

 

 

January 10, 2007, Introduced by Senator BRATER and referred to the Committee on Campaign and Election Oversight.

 

 

 

     A bill to amend 1954 PA 116, entitled

 

"Michigan election law,"

 

by amending section 726 (MCL 168.726) and by adding sections 750a

 

and 750b.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 726. No ballots A ballot shall not be delivered to an

 

elector by any a person other than 1 of the election inspectors of

 

election and only within the polling place, except as provided in

 

this act for absent voters' voter ballots and election by mail

 

ballots.

 

     Sec. 750a. (1) Subject to this section and section 750b, a

 

county clerk who is the school district election coordinator for a

 

school district or a city, township, or village clerk may conduct a

 

local election by mail in the city, township, village, or school


 

district, under the supervision of the secretary of state. In

 

deciding to conduct a local election by mail, a county clerk who is

 

the school district election coordinator for a school district or a

 

city, township, or village clerk shall consider requests from the

 

governing body of the city, township, village, or school district

 

and whether conducting the election by mail is economically and

 

administratively feasible.

 

     (2) The August primary held under section 534, the general

 

November election, and any other election in which a candidate for

 

statewide office, judicial office, legislative office, or

 

countywide office is nominated or elected shall be conducted as an

 

election by mail.

 

     (3) Not later than January 1, 2008, a county clerk who is the

 

school district election coordinator for a school district or a

 

city, township, or village clerk shall advise the governing body of

 

the city, township, village, or school district for which the clerk

 

is the election official as to each local election held in that

 

city, township, village, or school district that will be conducted

 

as an election by mail. Periodically, the clerk may review its

 

decision of whether a local election will be conducted as an

 

election by mail. If an earlier decision to conduct or not conduct

 

a local election as an election by mail is changed, the clerk shall

 

notify the governing body of the city, township, village, or school

 

district not later than the third Tuesday in January of the year in

 

which the election is to be held of that change. This subsection

 

does not apply to an election required to be held as an election by

 

mail under subsection (2).


 

     (4) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules in the

 

manner prescribed in this act to provide procedures for conducting

 

an election by mail.

 

     Sec. 750b. (1) A county, city, township, or village clerk who

 

conducts an election by mail under section 750a shall conduct the

 

election by mail as provided in this section.

 

     (2) The clerk shall designate 1 or more places of deposit in

 

the city, township, village, or school district for voters to

 

return voted ballots for the election by mail. The clerk shall

 

provide that the places designated for the deposit of voted ballots

 

in the city, township, village, or school district be open on the

 

date of the election for a period of 13 hours or more, beginning no

 

later than 7 a.m. and ending no earlier than 8 p.m., as determined

 

by the clerk.

 

     (3) The county, city, township, or village clerk shall send by

 

nonforwardable mail an official ballot with a pre-addressed,

 

postage paid return identification envelope and a secrecy envelope

 

to each voter who is registered in the city, township, village, or

 

school district as of the thirtieth day before the date of the

 

election by mail. The clerk shall address the ballot to the

 

registered voter as that voter's name appears on the registration

 

records of that voter. Except as otherwise provided in this

 

subsection and subsection (8), the clerk shall mail the official

 

ballots and envelopes during the period beginning on the twentieth

 

day before the date of the election by mail and ending on the

 

fourteenth day before the date of the election by mail. For a

 

statewide election by mail, the secretary of state shall prescribe


 

in rules promulgated under section 750a(4) the date on which the

 

official ballots and envelopes for the statewide election by mail

 

are to be mailed by a clerk under this subsection. However, the

 

secretary of state shall provide in those rules that all ballots

 

shall be mailed by the fourteenth day before the date of the

 

election by mail.

 

     (4) For a primary election, the election by mail ballot shall

 

contain a section for the selection of candidates from each

 

political party that is participating in the primary election. The

 

instructions accompanying the primary election by mail ballots

 

shall state clearly that the voter may vote for the appropriate

 

number of candidates of 1 party only and that a primary ballot on

 

which candidates from more than 1 party are selected will not be

 

counted.

 

     (5) For an elector who has applied to register to vote on or

 

before the close of registration and is not listed in the

 

registration records of the city, township, village, or school

 

district, the county, city, township, or village clerk shall

 

proceed in the same manner as prescribed in section 523a for a

 

person who appears at a polling place on election day. If the

 

elector meets the requirements of section 523a, the clerk shall

 

make the regular or provisional official ballot, the return

 

identification envelope, and the secrecy envelope available at the

 

clerk's office or other place designated by the clerk. The elector

 

who receives the official ballot and envelopes under this

 

subsection shall do all of the following:

 

     (a) Vote at the election in the clerk's office or other place


 

designated by the clerk or vote by mail.

 

     (b) Mark the ballot, sign the return identification envelope,

 

and comply with the instructions provided with the ballot.

 

     (c) Return the ballot in the return identification envelope to

 

the clerk.

 

     (6) A ballot or ballot label used in an election by mail shall

 

contain the following warning:

 

     "A person who, by use of force or other means, unduly

 

influences an elector to vote in a particular manner or to refrain

 

from voting is subject to imprisonment or to a fine, or both.".

 

     (7) To vote an election by mail ballot received under

 

subsection (3), a registered voter shall mark the ballot, sign the

 

return identification envelope supplied with the ballot, and comply

 

with the instructions provided with the ballot. The voter may

 

return the marked ballot to the appropriate county, city, township,

 

or village clerk by depositing it in the United States mail or with

 

another public postal service, express mail service, parcel post

 

service, or common carrier. The voter may return the marked ballot

 

to the appropriate county, city, township, or village clerk by

 

depositing it at the office of the clerk or other place of deposit

 

designated by the clerk. The voter shall return the ballot in the

 

return identification envelope supplied with the ballot or the

 

ballot will not be counted. An election by mail ballot must be

 

received at the office of the appropriate clerk or other place of

 

deposit designated by the clerk not later than the end of the

 

period determined under subsection (2) on the date of the election.

 

     (8) A voter may obtain a replacement election by mail ballot


 

if the ballot is destroyed, spoiled, lost, or not received by the

 

voter. A voter who seeks a replacement ballot shall sign a sworn

 

statement that the ballot was destroyed, spoiled, lost, or not

 

received by the voter and submit the statement to the appropriate

 

clerk before the end of the period determined under subsection (2).

 

The clerk shall keep a record of each replacement election by mail

 

ballot provided under this subsection. The clerk shall designate

 

the clerk's office or a central location in the city, township,

 

village, or school district in which the election is held as the

 

single place to obtain a replacement election by mail ballot under

 

this subsection. A clerk may mail replacement ballots 5 days or

 

more before the date of the election by mail. The clerk may deliver

 

in person to a registered voter a replacement ballot up until and

 

including the date of the election by mail.

 

     (9) Election officials shall count an election by mail ballot

 

only if that ballot meets all of the following requirements:

 

     (a) The ballot is returned in the return identification

 

envelope.

 

     (b) The return identification envelope is signed by the voter

 

to whom the ballot was issued.

 

     (c) The signature is verified as provided in subsection (10).

 

     (10) The county, city, township, or village clerk shall verify

 

the signature of each voter on the return identification envelope

 

with the signature of the voter on the voter's registration card,

 

according to the procedures prescribed in this act and rules

 

promulgated by the secretary of state.

 

     (11) If the clerk or other election official determines that a


 

voter to whom a replacement election by mail ballot has been issued

 

has voted more than once, an election official shall not count any

 

ballot cast by that voter. A clerk or other election official who

 

becomes aware of a person who votes or attempts to vote by means of

 

both an original ballot and a replacement ballot shall report that

 

information to the prosecuting attorney for that county and to the

 

secretary of state.

 

     (12) An election by mail ballot or a voter casting a ballot at

 

an election by mail, or both, is subject to challenge as prescribed

 

in this act.