SB-0013, As Passed Senate, November 10, 2015


















January 20, 2015, Introduced by Senator KNOLLENBERG and referred to the Committee on Elections and Government Reform.




      A bill to amend 1954 PA 116, entitled


"Michigan election law,"


by amending sections 736c, 782b, 795c, 803, and 804 (MCL


168.736c, 168.782b, 168.795c, 168.803, and 168.804), section 736c


as added by 2012 PA 128, section 795c as amended by 1990 PA 109,


and section 803 as amended by 2004 PA 92.




 1        Sec. 736c. Each ballot secrecy sleeve used at a general


 2  election shall either contain the following ballot marking


 3  instructions printed on the front of the ballot secrecy sleeve or


 4  shall have a clear plastic pocket on the front of the ballot


 5  secrecy sleeve that contains a printed copy of the following


 6  ballot marking instructions:




                         GENERAL ELECTION


TO VOTE: Completely darken the oval opposite each choice.


                             -- OR --


TO VOTE: Complete the arrow opposite each choice.


IMPORTANT: To mark your ballot, use only a black or blue ink pen.




PARTISAN SECTION: To vote the partisan section of the ballot, you


may cast a "straight ticket," a "split ticket," or a "mixed




Straight Ticket: Vote the party of your choice.   Nothing further


need be done in the partisan section.


Split Ticket: You may vote a straight ticket AND vote for


individual candidates of your choice.


Mixed Ticket: Vote for the individual candidates of your choice


in each office.


NONPARTISAN and PROPOSAL SECTIONS of the ballot (if any) must be


voted separately.


DO NOT vote for more candidates than indicated under each office




WRITE-IN CANDIDATES: To vote for a candidate whose name is not


printed on the ballot, write or place the name of that candidate


in the blank space provided and (completely darken the oval) or


(complete the arrow). This must be done even if you cast a straight


party vote. Do not cast a write-in vote for a candidate whose name


is already printed on the ballot for that office.


CHECK BOTH SIDES OF BALLOT: This ballot has two sides. Be certain


to check the reverse side of the ballot.


WHEN YOU HAVE COMPLETED VOTING: Place the ballot in the secrecy


sleeve so that votes cannot be seen and the numbered stub is


visible. Return the ballot to the election official stationed at


the tabulator. (If voting by absentee ballot, follow the


instructions provided by the clerk for returning the ballot.)


NOTE: If you make a mistake, return your ballot to the election


official and obtain a new ballot. Do not attempt to erase or


correct any marks made in error.



 5        Sec. 782b. If there is no reserve machine available,


 6  emergency ballots may also be provided by the county board of


 7  election commissioners. of the county, having Emergency ballots


 8  shall have suitable blank spaces to permit the voter to vote a


 9  straight party ticket, or if he desires to split his party


10  ticket, to indicate the party ticket the majority of whose


11  candidates he favors, together with the names of such other for


12  the candidates for whom he the elector desires to vote. The


13  ballots shall be used only in emergency and upon special


14  permission of the board or official whose duty it is to provide


15  ballots for the election. and who The board or official shall


16  prepare such the emergency ballots which that shall be held by


17  the city, township, or village clerk, subject to the order of the


18  county clerk or other authorized person. It shall is not be


19  necessary to provide emergency ballots for each election unless


20  same shall previously provided ballots have been used, destroyed,


21  or lost, in which case similar ballots shall again be provided.


22  If at any time during the election, the voting machine is


23  disabled and cannot be repaired and no other voting machine can


24  be had to supply its place, is available, an emergency shall be


25  declared to exist and the voting thereafter after an emergency is


26  declared at that election in that voting precinct shall be by


27  emergency ballot, in the manner provided in this section. The

    Senate Bill No. 13 as amended November 10, 2015


 1  board or official having the that has custody of the emergency


 2  ballots, when so directed, shall supply a sufficient number of


 3  such emergency ballots to the election board for use by the


 4  voters. One of the ballots shall be delivered by the election


 5  board to each voter who may thereafter appear appears to vote and


 6  after an emergency is declared. Emergency ballots shall be voted


 7  and counted subject to the provisions relative to voting by


 8  ballot at general elections, except as herein otherwise provided


 9  in this section. The ballots shall be numbered consecutively from


10  1 up, which and the number and identification shall be printed


11  upon on a perforated stub as in the case where only regular


12  ballots are used at elections.


13        Sec. 795c. <<(1)>> The different parts of the ballot, such as


14  partisan, nonpartisan, and questions, shall be prominently


15  indicated on the ballot label, and, if practicable, each part may


16  be placed on a separate page, column, or display. If 2 or more


17  elections are held on the same day, the ballot label shall be

18  clearly marked to indicate the ballot for each election. In

19  partisan elections the ballot label shall include a position by

20  which the voter may by a single selection record a straight party

21  ticket vote for all the candidates of 1 party. The voter may vote

22  a split or mixed ticket. In partisan elections, the ballot label

23  shall not include a position by which a voter may by a single

24  selection record a straight party ticket vote for all the

25  candidates of 1 party.

           <<(2) For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, $1,000,000.00 is

    appropriated from the general fund to the department of state to do all

    of the following:

     (a) Assess the impact of eliminating straight party ticket voting.

     (b) Assist in ongoing compliance and fraud prevention in elections.

     (c) Conduct thorough post-election audits of selected precincts after

    each election.

     (d) Provide remedial follow-up with local election officials to

    correct any election errors and to correct any compliance issues.

     (e) Audit file maintenance by local election officials.

     (f) Provide equipment to facilitate the integrity of the election


26        Sec. 803. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this act, the

27  following rules govern the counting and recounting of votes:


 1        (a) If it is clearly evident from an examination of a ballot


 2  that the ballot has been mutilated for the purpose of


 3  distinguishing it or that there has been placed on the ballot


 4  some mark, printing, or writing for the purpose of distinguishing


 5  it, then that ballot is void and shall not be counted.


 6        (b) A cross, the intersection of which is within or on the


 7  line of the proper circle or square, or a check mark, the angle


 8  of which is within a circle or square, is valid. Crosses or check


 9  marks otherwise located on the ballot are void.


10        (c) Marks other than crosses or check marks used to


11  designate the intention of the voter shall not be counted.


12        (d) A cross is valid even though 1 or both lines of the


13  cross are duplicated, if the lines intersect within or on the


14  line of the square or circle.


15        (e) Two lines meeting within or on the line of the square or


16  circle, although not crossing each other, are valid if it is


17  apparent that the voter intended to make a cross.


18        (f) A failure to properly mark a ballot as to 1 or more


19  candidates does not alone invalidate the entire ballot if the


20  ballot has been properly marked as to other candidates, unless


21  the improper marking is determined to be a distinguishing mark as


22  described in this subsection.


23        (g) Erasures and corrections on a ballot made by the elector


24  in a manner frequently used for this purpose shall not be


25  considered distinguishing marks or mutilations.


26        (h) Any A ballot or part of a ballot from which it is


27  impossible to determine the elector's choice of candidate is void


 1  as to the candidate or candidates affected by that determination.


 2        (i) Any votes A vote cast for a deceased candidate are is


 3  void and shall not be counted, except that votes a vote cast for


 4  a candidate for governor who has died, and for whom a replacement


 5  has not been made, shall be counted for the candidate for


 6  lieutenant governor of that party.


 7        (j) All ballots A ballot cast that are is not counted shall


 8  be marked by the inspector "not counted", kept separate from the


 9  others by being tied or held in 1 package, and placed in the


10  ballot box with the counted ballots.


11        (k) A vote shall not be counted for any a candidate unless a


12  cross or a check mark has been placed by the voter in the circle


13  at the head of the party ticket, if any, on which the name of the


14  candidate has been printed, written, or placed or unless a cross


15  or a check mark has been placed by the voter in the square before


16  the space in which the name of the candidate has been printed,


17  written, or placed.


18        (2) If an electronic voting system requires that the elector


19  place a mark in a predefined area on the ballot in order to cast


20  a vote, the vote shall not be considered valid unless there is a


21  mark within the predefined area. A stray mark made within a


22  predefined area is not a valid vote. In determining whether a


23  mark within a predefined area is a stray mark, the board of


24  canvassers or election official shall compare the mark with other


25  marks appearing on the ballot. The secretary of state shall issue


26  instructions, subject to the approval of the board of state


27  canvassers, relevant to stray marks to ensure the fairness and


 1  uniformity of determinations made under this subsection. A


 2  secretary of state's instruction relevant to stray marks shall


 3  not be applied to a ballot unless the secretary of state issued


 4  the instruction not less than 63 days before the date of the


 5  election.


 6        Sec. 804. In the canvass of votes cast for candidates for


 7  public office, the board shall first select and count the


 8  straight tickets and shall cause to be credited on the tally


 9  sheets the number to each candidate voted for on a straight


10  ticket. All other ballots shall be counted and tallied count and


11  tally each ballot in such the manner as will best insure ensure


12  accuracy and promptness in determining the result. , and the The


13  inspectors of election shall see that proper credit is given on


14  the tally sheets to the candidates voted for on such the ballots.


15  All computations and tallies shall be made upon the tally sheets


16  used at such the election.