Committee Hears Testimony on Rep. Schor's Election Bills

Bills allow for photography at the polls, use of a signature stamp,and address late filing fees
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

LANSING - The House Committee on Elections and Ethics heard testimony today on state Representative Andy Schor’s (D-Lansing) two bills aimed at making voting easier for Michigan residents and a third bill addressing the payment of late filing fees.

“I want to thank the committee chair for acting quickly to give my bills a committee hearing,” said Schor. “My bills will ensure all Michigan voters are able to exercise their right to vote, and will prevent unintentional acts by voters that could result in their vote being disqualified. These are common-sense bills that I think we can all agree will improve the election process in Michigan.”

Schor’s first bill, House Bill 4477, would allow a voter to take a photograph of himself or herself (but not a photo of his/her ballot) in a polling place. Currently, many voters take pictures of themselves feeding the ballot into the machine then share this on social media sites such as Facebook. Under Secretary of State rules, this practice is illegal and the ballot can be invalidated. Schor’s second bill, HB 4478, would allow a voter who is unable to sign his or her name on an election document to use a signature stamp. Now, voters who cannot sign their names must make their mark (an X) on a ballot because signature stamps are not allowed. In East Lansing, a voter tried to vote using a signature stamp and the ballot could not be accepted. Schor’s third bill, HB 4479, makes a technical change to campaign finance law which unifies the ways that candidates can pay late fees.

“It was an honor to present these bills to the Ethics and Elections Committee today, and I look forward to this legislation moving through the process in order to ensure that all voters can vote and to prevent disqualification of votes.”