ABSENT VOTER BALLOT TRACKER††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† S.B. 339 (S-2):

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SUMMARY OF BILL

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Bill 339 (Substitute S-2 as reported)

Sponsor:† Senator Mallory McMorrow

Committee:† Elections and Ethics

 


CONTENT

 

The bill would amend Chapter 28 (Holding of Elections) of the Michigan Election Law to do the following, in accordance with Proposal 22-2:

 

--    Require the Secretary of State (SOS) to establish, acquire, or approve an electronic tracking system that allowed each elector who voted by absentee ballot to track his or her voter application or absent voter ballot through a website or mobile application.

--    Require the electronic tracking system to record certain dates and information, including, if an application or ballot were denied, a reason for the rejection, instructions on how to fix the issue, and the deadline for fixing the issue.

--    Allow an elector to opt into notifications from the electronic tracking system by email, text, or both.

--    Specify that an elector's email address or telephone number provided to receive notifications from the electronic tracking system could only be used for official election purposes and would be confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

MCL 168.764c

 

BRIEF RATIONALE

 

Currently, Michigan's absent voter ballot tracking system does not show an elector whether his or her ballot has been accepted or, if his or her ballot was rejected, identify the problem. Some argue that voters should receive a second chance to fix a mistaken absent voter ballot. In November 2022, Proposal 2 addressed this concern by amending the State Constitution to require the SOS to develop an absent voter ballot tracking system that provides voters detailed information regarding their absent voter applications and ballots. Accordingly, it has been suggested that the Law be amended to reflect Proposal 2ís provisions.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Legislative Analyst:† Abby Schneider

 

FISCAL IMPACT

 

The bill would have start-up and ongoing costs for the Department of State to implement and maintain a ballot tracking system for electors to track their absent voter ballots following submission to their city or township clerk. The Department has estimated initial start-up/implementation costs at $450,000 for two FTEs, programming, and equipment costs over the two-year fiscal period of 2022-23 and 2023-24. Beginning in FY 2024-25 the ongoing costs would reduce to an estimated $140,000 annually and one FTE. The Senate Fiscal Agency estimates the average total annual cost of one FTE equivalent for FY 2022-23 at $142,000 consisting of salary, insurances, and retirement costs.

 

Date Completed:† 5-25-23††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Fiscal Analyst:† Joe Carrasco, Jr.

This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.