SENATE BILL No. 584

 

 

August 24, 2011, Introduced by Senator RICHARDVILLE and referred to the Committee on Local Government and Elections.

 

 

 

     A bill to amend 1954 PA 116, entitled

 

"Michigan election law,"

 

by amending sections 613a, 614a, 615a, 641, and 759a (MCL 168.613a,

 

168.614a, 168.615a, 168.641, and 168.759a), section 613a as amended

 

by 2003 PA 13, sections 614a and 615a as amended by 1999 PA 72,

 

section 641 as amended by 2005 PA 71, and section 759a as amended

 

by 2010 PA 50, and by adding sections 615c and 759c; and to repeal

 

acts and parts of acts.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 613a. (1) Except in 2004 when no statewide presidential

 

primary shall be conducted, a In 2012, a statewide presidential

 

primary election shall be conducted under this act on the date as

 

provided in subsection (3). A statewide presidential primary

 


election shall be conducted under this act on the fourth Tuesday in

 

February in each presidential election year after 2012.

 

     (2) For the 2012 presidential primary election, there is a 3-

 

member presidential primary election date selection committee

 

composed of all of the following:

 

     (a) One member appointed by the governor.

 

     (b) One member appointed by the senate majority leader.

 

     (c) One member appointed by the speaker of the house of

 

representatives.

 

     (3) No later than October 1, 2011, the presidential primary

 

election date selection committee shall meet and set a date for the

 

2012 presidential primary election. The date selected by the

 

presidential primary election date selection committee shall be no

 

earlier than February 28, 2012 and no later than March 6, 2012. If

 

the presidential primary election date selection committee does not

 

agree on a date for the presidential primary election by October 1,

 

2011, the 2012 presidential primary election shall be held on

 

February 28, 2012.

 

     (4) (2) A political party that received 5% or less of the

 

total vote cast nationwide for the office of president in the last

 

presidential election shall not participate in the presidential

 

primary election.

 

     (5) (3) Except as otherwise provided in this section and

 

sections 614a , 615a, to 616a, 624g, 641, 759a, 759c, and 879a, the

 

statewide presidential primary election shall be conducted under

 

the provisions of this act that govern the conduct of general

 

primary elections.

 


     Sec. 614a. (1) Not later than 4 p.m. of the second Friday in

 

November of the year before the presidential election, the

 

secretary of state shall issue a list of the individuals generally

 

advocated by the national news media to be potential presidential

 

candidates for each party's nomination by the political parties for

 

which a presidential primary election will be held under section

 

613a. The secretary of state shall make the list issued under this

 

subsection available to the public on an internet website

 

maintained by the department of state.

 

     (2) Not later than 4 p.m. of the Tuesday following the second

 

Friday in November of the year before the presidential election,

 

the state chairperson of each political party for which a

 

presidential primary election will be held under section 613a shall

 

file with the secretary of state a list of individuals whom they

 

consider to be potential presidential candidates for that political

 

party. The secretary of state shall make the lists received under

 

this subsection available to the public on an internet website

 

maintained by the department of state.

 

     (3) After the issuance of the list under subsection (1) and

 

after receipt of names from the state chairperson of each political

 

party under subsection (2), the secretary of state shall notify

 

each potential presidential candidate on the lists of the

 

provisions of this act relating to the presidential primary

 

election.

 

     Sec. 615a. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section,

 

the secretary of state shall cause the name of a presidential

 

candidate notified by the secretary of state under section 614a to

 


be printed on the appropriate presidential primary ballot under the

 

appropriate for that political party. heading. A presidential

 

candidate notified by the secretary of state under section 614a may

 

file an affidavit with the secretary of state indicating his or her

 

party preference if different than the party preference contained

 

in the secretary of state notification and the secretary of state

 

shall cause that presidential candidate's name to be printed under

 

on the appropriate party heading on the presidential primary ballot

 

for that political party. If the affidavit of a presidential

 

candidate indicates that the candidate has no political party

 

preference or indicates a political party preference for a

 

political party other than a political party for which a

 

presidential primary election will be held under section 613a, the

 

secretary of state shall not cause that presidential candidate's

 

name to be printed on a ballot for the presidential primary

 

election. A presidential candidate notified by the secretary of

 

state under section 614a may file an affidavit with the secretary

 

of state indicating that he or she does not wish to have his or her

 

name printed on the presidential primary ballot is not a

 

presidential candidate, and the secretary of state shall not have

 

that presidential candidate's name printed on the a presidential

 

primary ballot. A presidential candidate shall file an affidavit

 

described in this subsection with the secretary of state no later

 

than 4 p.m. on the second Friday in December of the year before the

 

presidential election year or the affidavit is considered void.

 

     (2) The name of an individual who is not listed as a potential

 

presidential candidate under section 614a shall be printed on the

 


ballot for the appropriate political party for the presidential

 

primary under the appropriate political party heading election if

 

he or she files a nominating petition with the secretary of state

 

no later than 4 p.m. on the second Friday in December of the year

 

before the presidential election year. The nominating petition

 

shall contain valid signatures of registered and qualified electors

 

equal to not less than 1/2 of 1% of the total votes cast in the

 

state at the previous presidential election for the presidential

 

candidate of the political party for which the individual is

 

seeking this nomination. However, the total number of signatures

 

required on a nominating petition under this subsection shall not

 

exceed 1,000 times the total number of congressional districts in

 

this state. A signature on a nominating petition is not valid if

 

obtained before October 1 of the year before the presidential

 

election year in which the individual seeks nomination. To be

 

valid, a nominating petition must conform to the requirements of

 

this act regarding nominating petitions, but only to the extent

 

that those requirements do not conflict with the requirements of

 

this subsection.

 

     (3) The names of the presidential candidates under on each

 

political party heading ballot shall be rotated on the ballot by

 

precinct. The Each ballot shall contain a space for an elector to

 

vote uncommitted.

 

     Sec. 615c. (1) In order to vote at a presidential primary

 

election, an elector shall indicate in writing, on a form

 

prescribed by the secretary of state, which political party ballot

 

he or she wishes to vote when appearing at a presidential primary

 


election.

 

     (2) The secretary of state shall develop a procedure for city

 

and township clerks to use when keeping a separate record at a

 

presidential primary election that contains the printed name,

 

address, and qualified voter file number of each elector and the

 

political party ballot selected by that elector at the presidential

 

primary election.

 

     (3) The information acquired or in the possession of a public

 

body indicating which political party ballot an elector selected at

 

a presidential primary election is not exempt from disclosure under

 

the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.

 

     (4) Within 71 days after the presidential primary election,

 

the secretary of state shall make available to the public in an

 

electronic format a file of the records for each political party

 

described under subsection (2). The secretary of state shall set a

 

schedule for county, city, and township clerks to submit data or

 

documents required under subsection (2). The secretary of state and

 

county, city, and township clerks shall destroy the information

 

indicating which political party ballot each elector selected at

 

the presidential primary election as recorded in subsection (2)

 

immediately after the expiration of the 22-month federal election

 

records retention period.

 

     Sec. 641. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section and

 

sections 642 and 642a, beginning January 1, 2005, an election held

 

under this act shall be held on 1 of the following regular election

 

dates:

 

     (a) The February regular election date, which is the fourth

 


Tuesday in February.

 

     (b) The May regular election date, which is the first Tuesday

 

after the first Monday in May.

 

     (c) The August regular election date, which is the first

 

Tuesday after the first Monday in August.

 

     (d) The November regular election date, which is the first

 

Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

 

     (2) If an elective office is listed by name in section 643,

 

requiring the election for that office to be held at the general

 

election, and if candidates for the office are nominated at a

 

primary election, the primary election shall be held on the August

 

regular election date.

 

     (3) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and

 

subsection (4), a special election shall be held on a regular

 

election date. A special election called by the governor under

 

section 145, 178, 632, 633, or 634 to fill a vacancy or called by

 

the legislature to submit a proposed constitutional amendment as

 

authorized in section 1 of article XII of the state constitution of

 

1963 may, but is not required to be, held on a regular election

 

date.

 

     (4) A school district may call a special election to submit a

 

ballot question to borrow money, increase a millage, or establish a

 

bond if an initiative petition is filed with the county clerk. The

 

petition shall be signed by a number of qualified and registered

 

electors of the district equal to not less than 10% of the electors

 

voting in the last gubernatorial election in that district or 3,000

 

signatures, whichever number is lesser. Section 488 applies to a

 


petition to call a special election for a school district under

 

this section. In addition to the requirements set forth in section

 

488, the proposed date of the special election shall appear beneath

 

the petition heading, and the petition shall clearly state the

 

amount of the millage increase or the amount of the loan or bond

 

sought and the purpose for the millage increase or the purpose for

 

the loan or bond. The petition shall be filed with the county clerk

 

by 4 p.m. of the twelfth Tuesday before the proposed date of the

 

special election. The petition signatures shall be obtained within

 

60 days before the filing of the petition. Any signatures obtained

 

more than 60 days before the filing of the petition are not valid.

 

If the special election called by the school district is not

 

scheduled to be held on a regular election date as provided in

 

subsection (1), the special election shall be held on a Tuesday. A

 

special election called by a school district under this subsection

 

shall not be held within 30 days before or 35 days after a regular

 

election date as provided in subsection (1). A school district may

 

only call 1 special election pursuant to this subsection in each

 

calendar year.

 

     (5) The secretary of state shall make a report to the house

 

and senate committees that consider election issues by December 1,

 

2006. The secretary of state shall report about the special

 

elections held under this subsection, including, but not limited

 

to, all of the following:

 

     (a) The number of times a special election has been held.

 

     (b) Which school districts have held special elections.

 

     (c) Information about the success rate of the ballot question

 


submitted at the special elections.

 

     (d) Information about voter turnout, including the percentage

 

and number of registered voters who voted in each special election.

 

     (5) (6) The secretary of state shall direct and supervise the

 

consolidation of all elections held under this act.

 

     (6) In 2012 only, the February regular election date as

 

provided in subsection (1) shall instead be the date of the

 

presidential primary election as provided under section 613a.

 

     (7) This section shall be known and may be cited as the

 

"Hammerstrom election consolidation law".

 

     Sec. 759a. (1) An absent uniformed services voter or an

 

overseas voter who is not registered, but possessed the

 

qualifications of an elector under section 492, may apply for

 

registration by using the federal postcard application. The

 

department of state, bureau of elections, is responsible for

 

disseminating information on the procedures for registering and

 

voting to an absent uniformed services voter and an overseas voter.

 

     (2) Upon the request of an absent uniformed services voter or

 

an overseas voter, the clerk of a county, city, township, or

 

village shall electronically transmit a blank voter registration

 

application or blank absent voter ballot application to the voter.

 

The clerk of a county, city, township, or village shall accept a

 

completed voter registration application or completed absent voter

 

ballot application electronically transmitted by an absent

 

uniformed services voter or overseas voter. A voter registration

 

application or absent voter ballot application submitted by an

 

absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter shall contain the

 


signature of the voter.

 

     (3) A spouse or dependent of an overseas voter who is a

 

citizen of the United States, is accompanying that overseas voter,

 

and is not a qualified and registered elector anywhere else in the

 

United States, may apply for an absent voter ballot even though the

 

spouse or dependent is not a qualified elector of a city or

 

township of this state.

 

     (4) An absent uniformed services voter or an overseas voter,

 

whether or not registered to vote, may apply for an absent voter

 

ballot. Upon receipt of an application for an absent voter ballot

 

under this section that complies with this act, a county, city,

 

village, or township clerk shall forward to the applicant the

 

absent voter ballots requested, the forms necessary for

 

registration, and instructions for completing the forms. If the

 

ballots are not yet available at the time of receipt of the

 

application, the clerk shall immediately forward to the applicant

 

the registration forms and instructions, and forward the ballots as

 

soon as they are available. If a federal postcard application is

 

filed, the clerk shall accept the federal postcard application as

 

the registration application and shall not send any additional

 

registration forms to the applicant. If the ballots and

 

registration forms are received before the close of the polls on

 

election day and if the registration complies with the requirements

 

of this act, the absent voter ballots shall be delivered to the

 

proper election board to be tabulated. If the registration does not

 

comply with the requirements of this act, the clerk shall retain

 

the absent voter ballots until the expiration of the time that the

 


voted ballots must be kept and shall then destroy the ballots

 

without opening the envelope. The clerk may retain registration

 

forms completed under this section in a separate file. The address

 

in this state shown on a registration form is the residence of the

 

registrant.

 

     (5) Not later than 45 days before an election, a county, city,

 

township, or village clerk shall electronically transmit or mail as

 

appropriate an absent voter ballot to each absent uniformed

 

services voter or overseas voter who applied for an absent voter

 

ballot 45 days or more before the election.

 

     (6) Upon the request of an absent uniformed services voter or

 

overseas voter, the clerk of a county, city, township, or village

 

shall electronically transmit an absent voter ballot to the voter.

 

The voter shall print the absent voter ballot and return the voted

 

ballot by mail to the appropriate clerk.

 

     (7) The secretary of state shall prescribe electronic absent

 

voter ballot formats and electronic absent voter ballot

 

transmission methods. Each county, city, township, or village clerk

 

shall employ the prescribed electronic ballot formats to fulfill an

 

absent voter ballot request received from an absent uniformed

 

services voter or overseas voter who wishes to receive his or her

 

absent voter ballot through an electronic transmission. The

 

secretary of state shall establish procedures to implement the

 

requirements in this section and for the processing of a marked

 

absent voter ballot returned by an absent uniformed services voter

 

or overseas voter who obtained his or her absent voter ballot

 

through an electronic transmission.

 


     (8) The secretary of state shall modify the printed statement

 

provided under section 761(4) and the absent voter ballot

 

instructions provided under section 764a as appropriate to

 

accommodate the procedures developed for electronically

 

transmitting an absent voter ballot to an absent uniformed services

 

voter or overseas voter. A statement shall be included in the

 

certificate signed by the absent voter who obtained his or her

 

absent voter ballot through an electronic transmission that the

 

secrecy of the absent voter ballot may be compromised during the

 

duplication process. The absent voter ballot instructions provided

 

to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter shall

 

include the proper procedures for returning the absent voter ballot

 

to the appropriate clerk.

 

     (9) The size of a precinct shall not be determined by

 

registration forms completed under this section.

 

     (10) An absent uniformed services voter or an overseas voter

 

who submits an absent voter ballot application is eligible to vote

 

as an absent voter in any local or state election occurring in the

 

calendar year in which the absent voter ballot application is

 

received by the county, city, village, or township clerk, but not

 

in an election for which the application is received by the clerk

 

after 2 p.m. of the Saturday before the election. A county, city,

 

or township clerk receiving an absent voter ballot application from

 

an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter shall transmit

 

to a village clerk and the school district election coordinators,

 

where applicable, the necessary information to enable the village

 

clerk and school district election coordinators to forward an

 


absent voter ballot for each applicable election in that calendar

 

year to the absent voter. A village clerk receiving an absent voter

 

ballot application from an absent uniformed services voter or

 

overseas voter shall transmit to the township clerk and the school

 

district election coordinators, where applicable, the necessary

 

information to enable the city or township clerk and school

 

district election coordinators to forward an absent voter ballot

 

for each applicable election in that calendar year to the absent

 

voter. If the local elections official rejects a voter registration

 

application or absent voter ballot application submitted by an

 

absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter, the election

 

official shall notify the voter of the rejection.

 

     (11) An electronic mail address provided by an absent

 

uniformed services voter or overseas voter for the purposes of this

 

section is confidential and exempt from disclosure under the

 

freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.

 

     (12) Under the uniformed and overseas citizens absentee voting

 

act, 42 USC 1973ff to 1973ff-6, 1973ff-7, the state director of

 

elections shall approve a ballot form and registration procedures

 

for absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters.

 

     (13) For a presidential primary election, the secretary of

 

state shall prescribe procedures for contacting an elector who is

 

an absent uniformed services voter or an overseas voter, as

 

described in this section, and who is eligible to receive an absent

 

voter ballot or who applies for an absent voter ballot for the

 

presidential primary election, offering the elector the opportunity

 

to select a political party ballot for the presidential primary

 


election.

 

     (14) (13) As used in this section:

 

     (a) "Absent uniformed services voter" means any of the

 

following:

 

     (i) A member of a uniformed service on active duty who, by

 

reason of being on active duty, is absent from the place of

 

residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote.

 

     (ii) A member of the merchant marine who, by reason of service

 

in the merchant marine, is absent from the place of residence where

 

the member is otherwise qualified to vote.

 

     (iii) A spouse or dependent of a member referred to in

 

subparagraph (i) or (ii) who, by reason of the active duty or service

 

of the member, is absent from the place of residence where the

 

spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified to vote.

 

     (b) "Member of the merchant marine" means an individual, other

 

than a member of a uniformed service or an individual employed,

 

enrolled, or maintained on the Great Lakes or the inland waterways,

 

who is either of the following:

 

     (i) Employed as an officer or crew member of a vessel

 

documented under the laws of the United States, a vessel owned by

 

the United States, or a vessel of foreign-flag registry under

 

charter to or control of the United States.

 

     (ii) Enrolled with the United States for employment or training

 

for employment, or maintained by the United States for emergency

 

relief service, as an officer or crew member of a vessel documented

 

under the laws of the United States, a vessel owned by the United

 

States, or a vessel of foreign-flag registry under charter to or

 


control of the United States.

 

     (c) "Overseas voter" means any of the following:

 

     (i) An absent uniformed services voter who, by reason of active

 

duty or service, is absent from the United States on the date of an

 

election.

 

     (ii) A person who resides outside of the United States and is

 

qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was

 

domiciled before leaving the United States.

 

     (iii) A person who resides outside of the United States and who,

 

but for such residence outside of the United States, would be

 

qualified to vote in the last place in which he or she was

 

domiciled before leaving the United States.

 

     (d) "Uniformed services" means the army, navy, air force,

 

marine corps, coast guard, the commissioned corps of the public

 

health service, the commissioned corps of the national oceanic and

 

atmospheric administration, a reserve component of a uniformed

 

service, or the Michigan national guard as defined in section 105

 

of the Michigan military act, 1967 PA 150, MCL 32.505.

 

     (15) (14) This section applies to the August 3, 2010 election

 

and to each succeeding election conducted in this state.

 

     Sec. 759c. For a presidential primary election, the secretary

 

of state shall revise the absent voter ballot application form

 

described in section 759 or provide a separate form to require that

 

a presidential primary elector indicate a political party ballot

 

selection when requesting an absent voter ballot.

 

     Enacting section 1. If any portion of this amendatory act or

 

the application of this amendatory act to any person or

 


circumstances is found invalid by a court, it is the intent of the

 

legislature that the provisions of this amendatory act are

 

severable and that the remainder of the amendatory act shall be

 

valid, operable, and in effect.

 

     Enacting section 2. Section 495a of the Michigan election law,

 

1954 PA 116, MCL 168.495a, is repealed.