GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan will institute a number of voting reforms after voters approved a constitutional amendment in Tuesday’s election.
Proposal 2 is projected to pass, NBC News reports.
Under it, the state must add nine days of early in-person voting, count military or overseas absentee ballots if they are postmarked by Election Day, and pay for absentee application and ballot postage and absentee ballot drop boxes.
“If we have nine days of early voting, that does also require more preparation in advance of our next round of elections next year to ensure that our clerks are prepared for that, and we’ll see how voter behavior shifts,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said during a Wednesday news briefing. “…Voters have options and now a new option with early voting, on how they choose to vote in a particular election. Our responsibility is to make sure that whatever option they choose, that it’s easy, secure and efficient for them and accessible to them.”
The amendment also enshrines some voting rights and processes in the state constitution: the right to vote without harassment, the verification of identity with photo ID or signed statement and allowing a single application for absentee voting in all elections.
It combats recent partisan fights during the ballot certification process, mandating that only election officials may conduct post-election audits and requiring canvas boards to certify results based only on the official records of the votes cast.
It also allows for donations to fund elections, though they must be disclosed.
“I’d like to thank the millions of Michigan voters who said, ‘Yes’ to Proposal 2 which protects the fundamental right to vote while enhancing security and expanding the accessibility of Michigan’s future elections,” Promote the Vote Executive Director Micheal Davis said in a statement. “Michigan voters clearly support ensuring every voice is heard and every vote is counted in every election no matter what political party or candidate we support, where we live or what we look like. I would like to thank the more than 25 nonpartisan partner organizations that worked tirelessly to engage voters about Proposal 2 and lend their effort to the initiative’s passage.”