Act No. 270

Public Acts of 2012

Approved by the Governor

July 2, 2012

Filed with the Secretary of State

July 3, 2012

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 15, 2012

STATE OF MICHIGAN

96TH LEGISLATURE

REGULAR SESSION OF 2012

Introduced by Senators Robertson and Green

ENROLLED SENATE BILL No. 751

AN ACT to amend 1954 PA 116, entitled “An act to reorganize, consolidate, and add to the election laws; to provide for election officials and prescribe their powers and duties; to prescribe the powers and duties of certain state departments, state agencies, and state and local officials and employees; to provide for the nomination and election of candidates for public office; to provide for the resignation, removal, and recall of certain public officers; to provide for the filling of vacancies in public office; to provide for and regulate primaries and elections; to provide for the purity of elections; to guard against the abuse of the elective franchise; to define violations of this act; to provide appropriations; to prescribe penalties and provide remedies; and to repeal certain acts and all other acts inconsistent with this act,” by amending sections 509r, 509aa, 658, 659, and 661 (MCL 168.509r, 168.509aa, 168.658, 168.659, and 168.661), section 509r as amended by 2003 PA 302, section 509aa as amended by 2004 PA 92, section 659 as amended by 2004 PA 296, and section 661 as amended by 1982 PA 2, and by adding section 764c.

The People of the State of Michigan enact:

Sec. 509r. (1) The secretary of state shall establish and maintain the computer system and programs necessary to the operation of the qualified voter file. The secretary of state shall allow each county, city, township, or village access to the qualified voter file. The county, city, township, and village clerks shall verify the accuracy of the names and addresses of registered voters in the qualified voter file.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the secretary of state and county, city, township, and village clerks shall compile the qualified voter file that consists of all qualified electors from the following sources and in the following priority:

(a) A driver’s license or, if there is no driver’s license, a state personal identification card, including renewals and changes of address with the department of state.

(b) An application for benefits or services, including renewals and changes of address, taken by a designated voter registration agency.

(c) An application to register to vote taken by a county, city, township, or village clerk.

(3) A person whose name does not otherwise appear in the qualified voter file shall be placed in the qualified voter file only if the person signs under penalty of perjury an application that contains an attestation that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:

(a) Is 17-1/2 years of age or older.

(b) Is a citizen of the United States and this state.

(c) Is a resident of the city or township where the person’s street address is located.

(4) A designated voter registration agency or a county, city, township, or village clerk shall not add to, delete from, or change any information contained in the qualified voter file during the period beginning on the seventh day before an election and ending on the day of the election.

(5) The secretary of state shall create an inactive voter file.

(6) If a voter is sent a notice under section 509aa to confirm the voter’s residence information or if a voter does not vote for 6 consecutive years, the secretary of state shall place the registration record of that voter in the inactive voter file. The registration record of that voter shall remain in the inactive voter file until 1 of the following occurs:

(a) The voter votes at an election.

(b) The voter responds to a notice sent under section 509aa.

(c) Another voter registration transaction involving that voter occurs.

(7) While the registration record of a voter is in the inactive voter file, the voter remains eligible to vote and his or her name shall appear on the precinct voter registration list.

(8) If the registration record of a voter is in the inactive voter file because the voter was sent a notice under section 509aa to confirm the voter’s residence information and that voter votes at an election by absent voter ballot, that absent voter ballot shall be marked in the same manner as a challenged ballot as provided in section 727.

Sec. 509aa. (1) A clerk may use change of address information supplied by the United States postal service or other reliable information received by the clerk that identifies registered voters whose addresses may have changed as provided in this section.

(2) Upon receipt of reliable information that a registered voter has moved his or her residence within the city or township, the clerk shall send by forwardable mail all of the following to the voter:

(a) A notice that the clerk has received information indicating that the voter has moved his or her residence within the city or township.

(b) A postage prepaid and preaddressed return card on which the voter may verify or correct the address information.

(c) A notice explaining that, if the address information is correct and the voter has moved his or her residence within the city or township, the voter should complete and return the card to the clerk with a postmark of 30 days or more before the date of the next election. If the voter has moved his or her residence within the city or township and does not complete and return the card to the clerk with a postmark of 30 days or more before the date of the next election, the voter will be required to vote in his or her former precinct of residence in the city or township. The voter will also be required to submit an address correction before being permitted to vote.

(3) Upon the receipt of reliable information that a registered voter has moved his or her residence to another city or township, the clerk shall send by forwardable mail all of the following to the voter:

(a) A notice that the clerk has received information indicating that the voter has moved his or her residence to another city or township.

(b) A postage prepaid and preaddressed return card on which the voter may verify or correct the address information.

(c) A notice containing all of the following information:

(i) If the address information is incorrect and the voter has not moved to another city or township and wishes to remain registered to vote, the voter should complete and return the card to the clerk with a postmark of 30 days or more before the date of the next election. If the card is not completed and returned with a postmark of 30 days or more before the date of the next election, the voter may be required to affirm his or her current address before being permitted to vote. Further, if the voter does not vote in an election within the period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the first business day immediately following the second November general election that is held after the date on the notice, the registration of the voter will be canceled and his or her name will be removed from the registration record of that city or township.

(ii) If the voter has moved his or her residence to another city or township, information on how the voter can become registered to vote at the next election in his or her new city or township.

(4) If a notice sent under subsection (2) or (3) is returned to the clerk by the post office as undeliverable, the clerk shall identify the registration record of a voter as challenged as provided in this act. The clerk shall instruct the board of election inspectors to challenge that voter at the first election at which the voter appears to vote. If in response to the challenge the voter indicates that he or she resides at the registration address or has changed addresses within the city or township, the voter shall be permitted to vote a regular ballot rather than a challenged ballot. The voter shall complete a change of address form at the polling place, if applicable. If the person does not appear to vote in an election within the period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the first business day immediately following the second November general election that is held after the date of the notice, the clerk shall cancel the registration of the voter and remove his or her name from the registration record of the city or township.

(5) If the department of state receives notice that a registered voter has moved out of state by receiving a surrendered Michigan driver license of that registered voter, the secretary of state shall send by forwardable mail all of the following to the voter:

(a) A notice that the secretary of state has received information indicating that the voter has moved his or her residence to another state.

(b) A postage prepaid and preaddressed return card on which the voter may verify or correct the address information.

(c) A notice providing that if the address information is incorrect and the voter has not moved to another state and wishes to remain registered to vote, the voter should complete and return the card to the secretary of state with a postmark of 30 days or more before the date of the next election. If the card is not completed and returned with a postmark of 30 days or more before the date of the next election, the voter may be required to affirm his or her current address before being permitted to vote. Further, if the voter does not vote in an election within the period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the first business day immediately following the second November general election that is held after the date on the notice, the registration of the voter will be canceled and his or her name will be removed from the qualified voter file.

Sec. 658. When a city, ward, township, or village is divided into 2 or more election precincts, pursuant to law, and it appears from an examination of the precinct registration records that there are not more than 2,999 active registered electors in the city, ward, township, or village using voting machines, the election commission, or other officials charged with the performance of the duty by the charter of a city or village, by resolution, may abolish the division or divisions and after that time the city, ward, township, or village shall constitute a single election precinct as if a division had not been made. A consolidation shall not be made later than the 120 days before a primary or election.

Sec. 659. (1) If a county, city, ward, township, village, or school district is divided into 2 or more election precincts, the county, city, ward, township, or village election commissioners may, by resolution, consolidate the election precincts for a particular election that is not a general November election, primary election immediately before a general November election, or other statewide or federal election. In making the determination to consolidate election precincts for a particular election, the election commission shall take into consideration the number of choices the voter must make, the percentage of registered voters who voted at the last similar election in the jurisdiction, and the intensity of the interest of the electors in the jurisdiction concerning the candidates and proposals to be voted upon. Consolidated precincts shall not exceed 5,000 active registered electors.

(2) A consolidation under this section shall be made not less than 60 days before a primary, general, or special election.

(3) Unless the polling places for the election precincts to be consolidated are located in the same building, when a county, city, ward, township, or village consolidates election precincts for a particular election under subsection (1), the election commissioners or other designated election officials shall do both of the following:

(a) Provide notice to the registered electors of the affected election precincts of the consolidation of election precincts for the particular election and the location of the polling place for the election precinct or precincts for that election. Notice may be provided by mail or other method designed to provide actual notice to the registered electors.

(b) Post a written notice at each election precinct polling place stating the location of the consolidated election precinct polling place.

(4) If a county, city, ward, township, or village consolidates election precincts under this section, each affected election precinct shall be treated as a whole unit and shall not be divided during the consolidation.

Sec. 661. (1) When the voter registration in a precinct using voting machines is 1,000 or less, there shall be not less than 1 voting machine for each 500 active registered electors at the general November election and at the primary immediately preceding that election. When the voter registration in a precinct using voting machines is more than 1,000 and less than 3,000, there shall be at least 1 voting machine for each 600 active registered electors at the general November election and at the primary immediately preceding that election. At other primaries and elections, the number of voting machines shall be at the discretion of the local election commission. In making this determination, the local election commission shall take into consideration the number of choices the voter must make, the percentage of registered voters who voted at the last similar election in the jurisdiction, and the intensity of the interest of the electors in the jurisdiction concerning the candidates and proposals to be voted upon. When the voter registration in a precinct using voting machines exceeds 2,999, the precinct shall be divided or rearranged.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), city and township election commissions shall divide precincts according to law, not later than 210 days before the primary next preceding the general November election, and shall immediately notify the county clerk of the number of registered voters in each precinct in the city or township. The county clerk shall notify the secretary of state not later than 200 days before the primary of a precinct in the clerk’s county which has not been divided according to law, and the secretary of state shall proceed to make divisions as are necessary at the expense of the city or township involved, not later than 180 days before the primary next preceding the general November election. If the election commission of a city, village, or township using voting machines decides to use paper ballots for a primary or election, the preceding limitations shall continue for that election. A division of precincts shall be made effective not later than 180 days before the primary election next preceding the general November election.

(3) In the second year following each federal census, precincts shall be divided pursuant to this subsection. City and township election commissions shall divide precincts, not later than 120 days before the primary election next preceding the general November election in order that a precinct, as far as is practical, is not split between districts and does not exceed 2,999 registered voters, and shall immediately notify the county clerk of the number of registered voters in each precinct in each city or township. The county clerk shall notify the secretary of state not later than 110 days before the primary of any precincts in the county which have not been divided, and the secretary of state shall proceed to make the divisions as are necessary, at the expense of the city or township involved, not later than 90 days before the primary election next preceding the general November election. The division of precincts shall be made effective not later than 90 days before the primary election. The secretary of state may authorize, upon written request by a city or township election commission, a later division of a precinct which contains portions of more than 1 elective district. All precinct divisions shall be completed not later than 90 days before the primary election next preceding the general November election. In determining the number of registered voters for a precinct under this subsection, a city or township election commission or the secretary of state, as applicable, may use either of the following:

(a) Only the active registered voters for that city or township.

(b) Both the active registered voters for that city or township and the voters in the inactive voter file for that city or township.

Sec. 764c. If a city, township, or village has access to the ballot tracker program provided by the state, the clerk of that city, township, or village shall utilize the ballot tracker program and allow voters to track their absent voter ballots online.

Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect August 15, 2012.

This act is ordered to take immediate effect.

Secretary of the Senate

Clerk of the House of Representatives

Approved

Governor