Three polarizing issues will be gracing the backs of Michigan ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 8: term limit and candidate financial disclosure reform, election reform and establishing the right to reproductive freedom and family planning.
In 2020, more than 500,000 Michigan voters didn’t flip their ballots over to vote on the ballot proposals. With mid-term elections having historically lower turn outs than presidential year elections, it seems fitting to promote these proposals and explain what they mean.
Prop 22-1 does two main things. First and foremost, it would require the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state legislators to produce an annual public financial disclosure report. These reports would include things like their income, assets, liabilities, reimbursements, gifts, future employment agreements and more. It was also specifically stated in the proposal that although legislators would be responsible for implementing these requirements, they could not limit or restrict them.
The other half of 22-1 adjusts the way term limits are structured. Currently, a person is eligible to serve for six years in the State House and eight years in the State Senate. If this proposal is adopted, this would be amended so that a person could serve in either chamber for a combined total of 12 years. The vote is as simple as if you’d like to adopt these new rules.
Prop 22-2 asks voters to consider a swath of amendments in regards to voting and elections. For starters, it would establish a fundamental right to vote without barriers for all those eligible. This ensures the right to vote without denial, abridgment or interference, no matter the law, rule or regulation. This Prop also gives any voter who feels threatened, harassed or intimidated while voting the chance to file a lawsuit in circuit court to enforce their right.
Another piece for 22-2 would provision for a minimum of nine days of early, in-person voting throughout the state for all state-wide and federal elections. Early voting would not have to follow the same voting jurisdictions as day-of voting, allowing for precincts to partner up for ease.
This Prop would also allow registered voters to use their photo ID or a signed affidavit confirming their identity and receive a standard ballot instead of a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are given when a question about a vote or voter must be answered before that ballot can be cast.
Prop 22-2 also does a lot for absentee voting. First, it would allow voters to place themselves on a permanent absentee voter roll that would automatically send them a ballot for every election they were eligible to vote in going forward. Second, it would create a state fund that pays for all of the postage for absentee ballots and ballot applications so that burden no longer falls on the voter. Finally, it would provision for at least one ballot and ballot application drop box within every municipality. These drop boxes would be available for 40 days prior to election day and they would be picked up at 8 p.m. when the polls close.
Finally, the last ballot Prop all voters will see is Prop 22-3. This would establish a person’s right to reproductive freedom. This includes decisions regarding contraception, sterilization, prenatal care, pregnancy, postpartum care, abortion, miscarriage management and infertility treatment. This would still allow the government to impose restrictions on abortion access after fetal viability has been reached unless medical intervention is necessary.
Along with these rights comes the assurance that they won’t be later invalidated. This amendment would also protect those that fall under it from state persecution for making choices regarding their reproductive health. Finally, it would invalidate any conflicting laws that may still stand.
This is your opportunity to have your voice directly heard in the lawmaking process, so don’t forget to flip over your ballot this midterm election.