Robertson introduces legislation to help keep Michigan elections fair, safe

LANSING, Mich.—Legislation introduced today by Sen. Dave Robertson will help strengthen campaign finance laws and the integrity of the voting process in Michigan.

“Maintaining a secure and fair elections process is essential to the future of our democracy, and the bills I introduced today will help ensure that,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “By stiffening penalties – including felony charges for the worst offenders – for not filing campaign finance disclosures and by cleaning up the voter files this legislation will help improve elections in Michigan by reducing and preventing fraud.”

Senate Bill 750 would make it a felony for failure to file a post-election campaign finance report and the next annual campaign report. Only candidate committees with larger balances of $20,000 or more would be subject to the felony provision. In addition, the legislation would allow forfeiture of the money that is in the account. It would also increase penalties for knowingly omitting contributions and expenditures from reports.

Senate Bill 751 would require a voter to present a photo ID to receive an AV ballot to bring the process in line with existing law for voting in person, and it would create an AV ballot tracker program that would allow the voter to track his or her ballot once it has been mailed in. It also would establish separate active and inactive voter files to allow clerks and election officials to better estimate voter turnout and the number of ballots needed for an election.

SBs 750 and 751 are part of a larger, bicameral package referred to as the Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Initiative.

The bills were referred to the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee for review.