Election Integrity News Blog

Search
  • patricejohnson11

Election Day. Citizen Resource Guide

Updated: Nov 7



Michigan Fair Elections For November 8, 2022

Election volunteers and workers

Friend,

Thank you for your commitment to election integrity and for signing up to be an election inspector, poll challenger, or poll watcher for the November 8 General Election. PLEASE READ AND PRINT this packet and bring it with you on Election Day. Depending on whether you are an election inspector, poll challenger, or poll watcher, you will have received information specific to those roles, so this guide is intended to equip you with additional helpful information. We hope it serves you in good stead. Before going to the polling location

  • Review these materials and any you received from the clerk or your trainers

  • Prepare your election binder to contain these and other materials

  • Pack and bring food and nonalcoholic beverages

  • Writing instruments

  • Notepad or two

  • Print out forms for incident reports (Sample below. Also available in Leaders Folder, Basecamp)

  • Bring a jacket or sweater

When you arrive at the polling location

  • Park in a well lighted spot

  • Introduce yourself to the chairperson or supervisor. Explain you are there to be an election inspector, poll challenger, or poll observer.

  • Mention to the chairperson you’d like a copy of the tabulator tapes at the end of the day (paper, video, or photo image is okay.) MCL 168.807 requires poll workers to share (See statutes below).

  • Election inspectors will need to show ID. You will have to take an oath.

  • Poll challengers will have to show their credentials.

  • Once you have entered the Absent Voter Counting Board (AVCB), you are not allowed to leave or have your phone until 8 PM

  • Listen and watch. Be right. Be polite. We are the eyes and ears, not hands or mouth.

Have a question? Wish to report an issue? To resolve any election integrity issues, please call or go to these sites below for the fastest response. Also, your reporting and calling the hotline will help identify trends. Attorneys will be on hand to resolve your issues. a. Report an issue online: Website Link: Michigan. https://michigan.protectthevote.com/hc/en-us

b. Or call the hotline: 517-777-8517. Hotline went live Sunday at 6:00 a.m. About 30 lawyers are on hand to answer phone calls, and about 65 lawyers are located at large polling places in Flint, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Saginaw, and Detroit. c. Sequestered in an AVCB? No worries. Call after you leave to report any issues.

At the close of polls

  • Assist in clean up as you are able.

  • Ask chairperson for a copy or image of precinct tape (MCL 168.807 requires poll workers to share).

  • The clerk may ask all who remain to exit with her or him.

After the polls close and you return home a. Fill out the precinct tape form(s), enter data, and send image of final printout of precinct tabulator tapes to this URL: https://electioneyes.us/michigan-precinct-tape-upload/ or

b. Review your notes and key them into the Notes & Incident Report forms below. Differences: Election inspectors, challengers and poll watchers

State Laws that may be beneficial while serving on Election Day: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/SOS_ED_2_CHALLENGERS_77017_7.pdf

Notes and Incident Reports. Document. Document. Document.

Please document any issues at the polls using this form. Please allow one form per issue.

Your name:­­­­­­­__________________________ Date_______________ Time_________ Email address:


Role (circle one): Election inspector, poll challenger, poll watcher

Where you worked/volunteered: (example, SWOT, Lansing, Preprocessing) Additional description of role: (Example: Precinct 2, AVCB, position 3) Polling location chairperson name:

Names (or descriptions of party(ies)) involved.


Incident Report 1: Describe incident, outcome or resolution, additional observations & recommendations. Use more pages as needed. Post to Basecamp Leader folder when complete.




Cue cards. A poll challenger's best friend.


Print these, or you may even want to laminate them to hang on a lanyard around your neck along with with your poll challenger card. Or place them in your binder. These images of cards come from Bill Beck and Gene Clem's outstanding, amazing immersion poll challenger simulation class.







Election Inspectors: Misinformation in Sec. of State's Guidelines

The Secretary of State’s information in the SOS/Democracy MVP contains misinformation. It violates state law. Some of the discrepancies include:


Issue: SOS/DMVP instructions for handling disruptive behavior in the polling place are contradictory in “Opening the Polls” and “Prohibited Conduct at Voting-Related Locations” and therefore run the risk of creating confusion. If the board of election inspectors wishes to eject someone for disruptive behavior and the person refuses to leave, the board is not authorized to physically lay a hand on that person. They should call law enforcement.


Issue: SOS/DMVP included no instructions to verify signatures; whereas the law states that “the election official shall compare the signature upon the application….”


Issue: SOS/DMVP instructs election inspectors to “make sure to defer to their [the clerk’s] instruction.” The clerk and election inspectors are to follow the law per their oath of office. If the clerk’s instructions are at odds with the law, it is the worker’s responsibility to inform the clerk and have it noted in the poll book.


Issue: The SOS/DMVP guidelines say workers must wear masks; whereas the Michigan mask mandate was canceled Feb. 16, 2022.


Issue: “Curbside voting” was legally unauthorized in 2020 due to COVID-19. SOS/DMVP instructions state the ballot is to be taken by two inspectors to the voter in the parking lot, then returned and deposited into the tabulator. Legally, ballots must be voted in the polling place and cast according to election law. They are not permitted to leave the polling place. Note: This erroneous information is also posted on the Michigan Secretary of State’s website and should have been removed.

Issue: SOS/DMVP guidelines instruct that voters may receive unspecified assistance from election inspectors or anyone of their choosing as long as it’s not the voter’s employer or an agent of the employer, or an officer or agent of a labor union to which the voter belongs; whereas, the law states, “When at an election an elector shall state that the elector cannot mark his or her ballot, the elector shall be assisted in the marking of his or her ballot by 2 inspectors of election. If an elector is so disabled on account of blindness, the elector may be assisted in the marking of his or her ballot by a member of his or her immediate family or by a person over 18 years of age designated by the blind person.”



Statutes. Carry the law at your side


MCL (Michigan Compiled Laws) 168.31(1) outlines authorities and responsibilities of the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall do all of the following:


(a) Subject to subsection (2), issue instructions and promulgate rules pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328, for the conduct of elections and registrations in accordance with the laws of this state.


(b) Advise and direct local election officials as to the proper methods of conducting elections.


(c) Publish and furnish for the use in each election precinct before each state primary and election a manual of instructions that includes specific instructions on assisting voters in casting their ballots, directions on the location of voting stations in polling places, procedures and forms for processing challenges, and procedures on prohibiting campaigning in the polling places as prescribed in this act….


(h) Investigate, or cause to be investigated by local authorities, the administration of election laws, and report violations of the election laws and regulations to the attorney general or prosecuting attorney, or both, for prosecution….


MCL 168.373. Township clerk; appointment of substitute to perform election law duties.

If neither the township clerk nor any deputy township clerk shall be available to perform any necessary functions in connection with registrations, nominations or elections during the usual or required times for performing such functions, the township board shall appoint some qualified person who is a registered elector of the township to perform such functions until such time as the clerk or a deputy resume their duties. Any such person so appointed shall have all of the powers and authority of a deputy appointed by the clerk pertaining to registrations, nominations and elections.


MCL 168.499. Registration of elector; registration application; oaths; interpreter; false material statement as misdemeanor; accepting fee as misdemeanor; voter identification card; effect of voter identification card returned to post office.


(1) An elector entitled to registration in an election precinct may become registered in the precinct by applying in person and signing the registration application before the clerk or assistant clerk of the township, city, or village in which the precinct is located. For the performance of his or her duties under this act, each clerk and assistant clerk has the power to administer oaths and to swear persons as to the truth of statements contained in an application. For a better examination of the applicant, a clerk may employ and swear an interpreter to interpret all questions put to applicants and the answers to those questions. If the applicant, in answer to a question or in the registration application, makes a material statement that is false, the applicant is guilty of a misdemeanor.


(2) A clerk or assistant clerk shall not accept a fee from an elector applying for registration, either for the registering of the elector or for the taking of the acknowledgment on the application. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor.


(3) The clerk, immediately after receiving the registration or change of address of an elector, shall prepare a voter identification card for the elector. The clerk shall also prepare and send a corrected voter identification card to an elector affected by a change in United States representative, state senatorial, state representative, or county commissioner district or precinct. The clerk shall forward by first-class mail the voter identification card to the elector at the elector's registration address. The voter identification card shall contain the name and address of the registrant and the United States representative, state senatorial, state representative, or county commissioner district and precinct in which the registrant is an elector. If the original voter identification card is returned to the clerk by the post office as nondeliverable, the clerk shall reject the registration and send the individual a notice of rejection. If a duplicate voter identification card is returned to the clerk by the post office, the clerk shall accept this as information that the elector has moved and the clerk shall proceed in conformity with section 509aa.


MCL 168.501 provides a definition of the “master registration cards,” and citations in MCL 168.761(1) make it clear that an ‘absentee ballot application’ is not the same thing as a ‘registration card.’


The master registration cards must be filed alphabetically and must be termed the "master file.” The master file must contain the signature of each elector registered in the city or township, unless the clerk of the jurisdiction has access to the qualified voter file and the elector has a digitized signature in the qualified voter file. If an elector is unable to write or sign his or her name because of a physical disability, the master file must contain the mark or signature stamp used by that elector when a signature is required....


MCL 168.509aa. Updating registration upon receipt of certain information; duties of clerk; instruction by clerk to challenge voter; cancellation of registration; notice that registered voter has moved out of state.


(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.


MCL 168.509cc. Challenge of registration; response by voter; duties of clerk.


(1) If a registration is challenged under this act and the challenged voter does not respond in the manner provided in this act, the registration record of that voter remains challenged and election officials shall not allow the challenged voter to vote until he or she answers the grounds of the challenge in the manner provided in this act. If a registration is challenged under this act and an election official determines, based upon the response of the challenged voter, that the voter is qualified to vote, the election official shall allow the voter to vote and the clerk shall remove the identification as challenged from the registration record of that voter.


(2) If a clerk does not independently determine that a challenged voter is qualified to vote or if the challenged voter does not respond to the challenge or fails to prove in his or her response to the challenge that he or she is qualified to vote during the period beginning on the date of the notice of challenge under this act 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.


MCL 168.509dd. Program to register voters or remove names.


(1) A clerk may conduct a program to register qualified electors or to remove names of registered voters who are no longer qualified to vote in the city or township from the registration records of that city or township. A clerk who conducts a program to register voters or to remove names under this section shall administer the program in a uniform manner to the entire city or township. The clerk shall use nondiscriminatory procedures that comply with the requirements of the voting rights act of 1965, Public Law 89-110, 79 Stat. 437.


(2) The clerk shall complete any program to remove names conducted under this section 90 days or more before the date of a federal election. The 90-day deadline under this subsection does not apply to the removal of names from the registration records of a city or township under 1 of the following circumstances:


(a) At the request or authorization of a voter.

(b) Upon the death of a voter.

(c) Upon notice that a voter has moved from the city or township and has completed an application at the new address.


(3) Subject to the requirements of this section, a clerk may use 1 or more of the following to conduct a program to register voters or remove names under this section:


(a) A house-to-house canvass.

(b) A general mailing to voters for address verifications.

(c) Participation in the national change of address program established by the postal service.

(d) Other means the clerk considers appropriate.


MCL 168.509gg (1). The information described in this subsection that is contained in a registration record is exempt from disclosure under the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246. The secretary of state, a designated voter registration agency, or a county, city, township, or village clerk shall not release a copy of that portion of a registration record that contains any of the following:

(a) The record that a person declined to register to vote. (b) The office that received a registered voter’s application. (c) A registered voter’s driver’s license or state personal identification card number. (d) The month and day of birth of a registered voter. (e) The telephone number provided by a registered voter…

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the last 4 digits of a registered voter’s social security number contained in a registration record are exempt from disclosure under the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246. The last 4 digits of a registered voter’s social security number contained in a registration record may only be used by the secretary of state to verify a registered voter’s data as provided by the help America vote act of 2002 and to verify a registered voter’s status under this act, and shall not be used or released for any other purpose. MCL 168.509o. Qualified voter file; establishment and maintenance; individuals considered registered voters; signed application; development and use of process to update qualified voter file; availability of canceled voter registration information; participation in multistate programs or services; limitations.


(1) The secretary of state shall direct and supervise the establishment and maintenance of a statewide qualified voter file. The secretary of state shall establish the technology to implement the qualified voter file. The qualified voter file is the official file for the conduct of all elections held in this state. The secretary of state may direct that all or any part of the city or township registration files must be used in conjunction with the qualified voter file at the first state primary and election held after the creation of the qualified voter file.


(5). Subject to this subsection, the secretary of state shall participate with other states in 1 or more recognized multistate programs or services, if available, to assist in the verification of the current residence and voter registration status of electors. The secretary of state shall not participate in any recognized multistate program or service described in this subsection that requires this state to promote or adopt legislation as a condition of participation in that program or service. In addition, the secretary of state shall not participate in any recognized multistate program or service described in this subsection if the secretary of state determines that data of that program or service are not being adequately secured or protected. The secretary of state shall follow the procedures under section 509aa(5) with regard to any electors affected by information obtained through any multistate program or service.


MCL 168.512. Challenge of elector; affidavit, contents; answering affidavit; cancellation of registration; indiscriminate challenge, penalty.


Any elector of the municipality may challenge the registration of any registered elector by submitting to the clerk of that municipality a written affidavit that such elector is not qualified to vote, which affidavit shall specify the grounds upon which the challenged elector is disqualified. Upon receipt of such affidavit, the clerk shall forthwith send by registered or certified mail to the challenged elector at his registered or last known address a notification of the challenge, which shall include the grounds for such challenge as stated in the affidavit.


The challenged elector may within 30 days appear before the clerk and answer the questions and take the oath required of persons challenged on the same grounds at election, or in lieu of appearing in person the challenged elector, within a like period of time, may elect to file with the clerk an affidavit setting forth specifically his qualifications as an elector of the municipality and answering the grounds of the challenge. If within the 30-day period the person challenged shall fail to appear and be sworn or to file an affidavit, or if his statements do not show him to be a qualified elector of the municipality, the clerk shall forthwith cancel his registration. The 30-day period referred to in this section shall be the 30 days immediately following the date of mailing the notice to the challenged elector. Any person who shall challenge under the provisions of this section, indiscriminately and without good cause or for the purpose of harassment, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


MCL 168.520. Illegal or fraudulent registration; township or city clerk, powers and duties; assistance by police or sheriff; assistant examiners, appointment, expenses.


Sec. 520. If a township or city clerk has knowledge that there is a probable illegal or fraudulent registration in the township or city, or in any ward or precinct of the township or city, the clerk has the power and duty to make a full investigation of the facts concerning the registration and to ascertain whether any name has been illegally or fraudulently registered.


A township or city clerk is authorized and empowered to call upon the police department of the city or the sheriff of the county in which the city is located, or both, to assist in Rendered Wednesday, October 13, 2021 Page 120 Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 89 of 2021  Courtesy of www.legislature.mi.gov making the investigation, and the police department and the sheriff are required to render assistance if the clerk makes a request for assistance, and to furnish the clerk at his or her request with all available assistance in making the investigation. A township or city clerk is further authorized and empowered if he or she considers it necessary or advisable to appoint assistant examiners for the purpose of the investigation. Bills for the services of the examiner must be approved by the clerk and must be audited and paid by the township board or legislative body of the city in the same manner as the expenses of conducting elections are paid. History: 1954, Act 116, Eff. June 1, 1955;Am. 2018, Act 125, Eff. Dec. 31, 2018. Popular name: Election Code


MCL 168.674(2a). ...The board of election commissioners shall appoint at least 1 election inspector from each major political party and shall appoint an equal number, as nearly as possible, of election inspectors in each election precinct from each major political party...

...Not later than 2 business days following the appointment of election inspectors under subsection (1) for elections in which a federal or state office appears, the board of election commissioners shall notify by certified mail, personal service, or electronic transmission capable of determining date of receipt the county chair of each major political party of the names and political party affiliations of appointed election inspectors and the precincts to which those inspectors were appointed…


MCL 168.675(6). ...Election inspectors may be appointed by the board of election commissioners under this subsection before written notice is provided to the secretary of state under this subsection. Sections 673a and 674 apply to the appointment of election inspectors under this subsection. All requirements for election inspectors appointed to an absent voter counting board under section 765a apply to election inspectors appointed under this subsection. At all times, at least 1 election inspector from each major political party must be present at the location


MCL 168.730. Designation, qualifications, and number of challengers.


(1) At an election, a political party or an incorporated organization or organized committee of citizens interested in the adoption or defeat of a ballot question being voted for or upon at the election, or interested in preserving the purity of elections and in guarding against the abuse of the elective franchise, may designate challengers as provided in this act. Except as otherwise provided in this act, a political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens may designate not more than 2 challengers to serve in a precinct at any 1 time. A political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens may designate not more than 1 challenger to serve at each counting board.


(2) A challenger shall be a registered elector of this state. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a candidate for nomination or election to an office shall not serve as a challenger at the election in which he or she is a candidate. A candidate for the office of delegate to a county convention may serve as a challenger in a precinct other than the 1 in which he or she is a candidate. A person who is appointed as an election inspector at an election shall not act as a challenger at any time during the election day.


(3) A challenger may be designated to serve in more than 1 precinct. The political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens shall indicate which precincts the challenger will serve when designating challengers under subsection (1). If more than 1 challenger of a political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens is serving in a precinct at any 1 time, only 1 of the challengers has the authority to initiate a challenge at any given time. The challengers shall indicate to the board of election inspectors which of the 2 will have this authority. The challengers may change this authority and shall indicate the change to the board of election inspectors. MCL 168.731. Challengers; statement of appointment by organization; contents; authorization; appointment without authorization; penalty.


(1) Not less than 20 and not more than 30 days before an election, an incorporated organization or organized committee of interested citizens other than political party committees authorized by this act intending to appoint challengers at the election shall file with the clerk of the county, city, village or township in which the election is to be held, a statement setting forth the intention of the organization or committee to appoint challengers. The statement shall set forth the reason why the organization or committee claims the right to appoint challengers, with a facsimile of the card to be used, and shall be signed and sworn to by the chief presiding officer, the secretary, or some other officer of the organization or committee. The clerk or secretary of state, as applicable under subsection (2), may deny an organization or committee the authorization to appoint challengers if that organization or committee fails to furnish evidence satisfactory to the clerk or secretary of state that the organization or committee is devoted to the purposes enumerated in section 730.


(2) Not later than 2 business days after receipt of a statement of intent to appoint challengers under subsection (1), a clerk shall approve or deny the organization's or committee's authorization to appoint challengers and notify the organization or committee of that approval or denial. If authorization is denied under this subsection, an organization or committee may appeal the denial with the secretary of state not later than 2 business days after receipt of the denial. Not later than 2 business days after receipt of an appeal of a denial under this subsection, the secretary of state shall review the clerk's denial and approve or deny the organization's or committee's authorization to appoint challengers and notify the organization or committee and the clerk of that decision.


(3) Before the opening of the polls, the clerk shall certify in writing to the board of election inspectors in a county, city, village, or township in which the election will be conducted the names of organizations and committees that are authorized under this section to appoint and keep challengers at the polling places in the county, city, village, or township.


(4) A person who files a statement under this section on behalf of an organization or committee that is not authorized by this act to appoint challengers or a clerk who knowingly fails to perform the duties required by this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.

History: 1954, Act 116, Eff. June 1, 1955 ;-- Am. 1995, Act 261, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 Popular Name: Election Code


MCL 168.733. Challengers; space in polling place; rights; space at counting board; expulsion for cause; protection; threat or intimidation.


(1) The board of election inspectors shall provide space for the challengers within the polling place that enables the challengers to observe the election procedure and each person applying to vote. A challenger may do 1 or more of the following:


(a) Under the scrutiny of an election inspector, inspect without handling the poll books as ballots are issued to electors and the electors' names being entered in the poll book.

(b) Observe the manner in which the duties of the election inspectors are being performed.

(c) Challenge the voting rights of a person who the challenger has good reason to believe is not a registered elector.

(d) Challenge an election procedure that is not being properly performed.

(e) Bring to an election inspector's attention any of the following:

(i) Improper handling of a ballot by an elector or election inspector.

(ii) A violation of a regulation made by the board of election inspectors pursuant to section 742.

(iii) Campaigning being performed by an election inspector or other person in violation of section 744.

(iv) A violation of election law or other prescribed election procedure.

(f) Remain during the canvass of votes and until the statement of returns is duly signed and made.

(g) Examine without handling each ballot as it is being counted.

(h) Keep records of votes cast and other election procedures as the challenger desires.

(i) Observe the recording of absent voter ballots on voting machines.


(2) The board of election inspectors shall provide space for each challenger, if any, at each counting board that enables the challengers to observe the counting of the ballots. A challenger at the counting board may do 1 or more of the activities allowed in subsection (1), as applicable.


(3) Any evidence of drinking of alcoholic beverages or disorderly conduct is sufficient cause for the expulsion of a challenger from the polling place or the counting board. The election inspectors and other election officials on duty shall protect a challenger in the discharge of his or her duties.


(4) A person shall not threaten or intimidate a challenger while performing an activity allowed under subsection (1). A challenger shall not threaten or intimidate an elector while the elector is entering the polling place, applying to vote, entering the voting compartment, voting, or leaving the polling place.


MCL 168.734. Challengers; preventing presence, penalty. Any officer or election board who shall prevent the presence of any such challenger as above provided, or shall refuse or fail to provide such challenger with conveniences for the performance of the duties expected of him, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000.00, or by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding 2 years, or by both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.


MCL 168.761(1). If the clerk of a city or township receives an application for an absent voter ballot from a person registered to vote in that city or township and if the signature on the application agrees with the signature for the person contained in the qualified voter file or on the registration card as required in subsection (2)....


MCL 168.761(2). The qualified voter file must be used to determine the genuineness of a signature on an application for an absent voter ballot. Signature comparisons must be made with the digitized signature in the qualified voter file. If the qualified voter file does not contain a digitized signature of an elector, or is not accessible to the clerk, the city or township clerk shall compare the signature appearing on the application for an absent voter ballot to the signature contained on the master card....


MCL 168.761(4) provides very specific instructions describing the lawful distribution of absentee ballots: (4) Absent voter ballots must be issued in the same order in which applications are received by the clerk of a city, township, or village, as nearly as may be, and each ballot issued must bear the lowest number of each kind available for this purpose. However, this provision does not prohibit a clerk from immediately issuing an absent voter ballot to an absent voter who applies in person in the clerk's office for absent voter ballots. ...

MCL 168.765a(6). Written or stamped on each of the return envelopes must be the time and the date that the envelope was received by the clerk and a statement by the clerk that the signatures of the absent voters on the envelopes have been checked and found to agree with the signatures of the voters on the registration cards or the digitized signatures of voters contained in the qualified voter file as provided under section 766....


MCL 168.765a(8): ... The absent voter counting boards and combined absent voter counting boards shall process the ballots and returns in as nearly as possible the same manner as ballots are processed in paper ballot precincts. …


MCL 168.765a(13). The secretary of state shall develop instructions consistent with this act for the conduct of absent voter counting boards or combined absent voter counting boards. The secretary of state shall distribute the instructions developed under this subsection to county, city, and township clerks 40 days or more before a general election in which absent voter counting boards or combined absent voter counting boards will be used. A county, city, or township clerk shall make the instructions developed under this subsection available to the public and shall distribute the instructions to each challenger in attendance at an absent voter counting board or combined absent voter counting board. The instructions developed under this subsection are binding upon the operation of an absent voter counting board or combined absent voter counting board used in an election conducted by a county, city, or township.


MCL 168.766(1). Upon receipt from the city or township clerk of any envelope containing the marked ballot or ballots of an absent voter, the board of inspectors of election shall verify the legality of the vote by doing both of the following: Examining the digitized signature for the absent voter included in the qualified voter file under section 509q or the registration record as provided in subsection (2) to see that the person has not voted in person, that he or she is a registered voter, and that the signature on the statement agrees with the signature on the registration record....


MCL 168.766(2). The qualified voter file must be used to determine the genuineness of a signature on an envelopecontaining an absent voter ballot. Signature comparisons must be made with the digitized signature in the qualified voter file. If the qualified voter file does not contain a digitized signature of an elector, or is not accessible to the clerk, the city or township clerk shall compare the signature appearing on an envelope containing an absent voter ballot to the signature contained on the master card....


MCL 168.767. If upon an examination of the envelope containing an absent voter's ballot or ballots, it is determined that the signature on the envelope does not agree sufficiently with the signature on the registration card or the digitized signature contained in the qualified voter file as provided under section 766 so as to identify the voter or if the board shall have knowledge that the person voting the ballot or ballots has died, or if it is determined by a majority of the board that such vote is illegal for any other reason, then such vote shall be rejected....


MCL 168.792a(11). A person who discloses an election result or in any manner characterizes how any ballots have been voted before 8:00 p.m. is guilty of a felony.


MCL 168.797a. (2)...An election inspector shall ascertain, by comparing the number appearing on the ballot stub with the number recorded on the poll list, that the ballot delivered by the voter is the same ballot that was issued to the elector. If the numbers do not agree, the ballot shall be marked as "rejected", and the elector shall not be allowed to vote….

(3) A ballot from which the stub is detached shall not be accepted by the election inspector in charge of the ballot box or other approved ballot container. ...

(5) Except as otherwise provided in this act, an election inspector shall not allow any portion of a ballot, including a ballot stub, to be removed by any person other than an election inspector from the polling place….


MCL 168.798. Testing of electronic tabulating equipment; notice; method; sealing programs, test materials, and ballots; rules; sealing memory device.


(1) Before beginning the count of ballots, the board of election commissioners shall test the electronic tabulating equipment to determine if the electronic tabulating equipment will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and on all questions. Public notice of the time and place of the test shall be given at least 48 hours before the test by publication in a newspaper published in the county, city, village, township, or school district where the electronic tabulating equipment is used. If a newspaper is not published in that county, city, village, township, or school district, the notice shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in that county, city, village, township, or school district. The test shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by rules promulgated by the secretary of state pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969, Act No. 306 of the Public Acts of 1969, being sections 24.201 to 24.328 of the Michigan Compiled Laws. In the test, a different number of valid votes shall be assigned to each candidate for an office, and for and against each question. If an error is detected, the board of election commissioners shall determine the cause of the error and correct the error. The board of election commissioners shall make an errorless count and shall certify the errorless count before the count is started. The electronic tabulating equipment that can be used for a purpose other than examining and counting votes shall pass the same test at the conclusion of the count before the election returns are approved as official.


(2) On completion of the test and count, the programs, test materials, and ballots arranged by precincts shall be sealed and retained as provided by this subsection and rules promulgated by the secretary of state pursuant to Act No. 306 of the Public Acts of 1969. If the electronic tabulating equipment that is tested and certified to by the board of election commissioners will be used to count votes at the precinct, a memory device containing the tested programs, if any, shall be sealed into the electronic tabulating equipment. Upon completion and certification of the count of votes, the memory device containing the program and the vote totals shall remain sealed in the electronic tabulating equipment or, if removed from the electronic tabulating equipment, shall remain sealed in a container approved by the secretary of state, delivered to the clerk, and retained in the manner provided for other voted ballots.


MCL 168.807. Election results; availability. Immediately after the canvass has been completed, the result, stating the total number of votes received by each person voted for in said precinct for any office and the number of votes for and the number of votes against any proposed constitutional amendment or other submitted proposition, shall be made available to interested persons who may be present.


MCL 168.813. (5). …Within 7 days after an election, the city or township clerk shall ensure that the qualified voter file is current and includes any individual who registered to vote under section 497(3) and (4).


MCL 168.931(1) makes it clear willful violation of election law by an election official is a misdemeanor:


A person who violates 1 or more of the following subdivisions is guilty of a misdemeanor:

...(h) A person shall not willfully fail to perform a duty imposed upon that person by this act, or disobey a lawful instruction or order of the secretary of state as chief state election officer or of a board of county election commissioners, board of city election commissioners, or board of inspectors of election. ...


MCL 168.931(1),(1)(h):.(1) A person who violates 1 or more of the following subdivisions is guilty of a misdemeanor...(h) A person shall not willfully fail to perform a duty imposed upon that person by this act, or disobey a lawful instruction or order of the secretary of state as chief state election officer or of a board of county election commissioners, board of city election commissioners, or board of inspectors of election...


MCL 168.931(2). A person who violates a provision of this act for which a penalty is not otherwise specifically provided in this act, is guilty of a misdemeanor.


MCL 168.934 establishes misdemeanor election law violations as punishable offenses:

Any person who shall be found guilty of a misdemeanor under the provisions of this act shall, unless herein otherwise provided, be punished by a fine of not exceeding $500.00, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.... MCL 168.941. Peace officers; duty to institute proceedings. It is hereby made the duty of any police, sheriff or other peace officer, present and having knowledge of any violation of any of the provisions of this act, to forthwith institute criminal proceedings for the punishment of such offender.


CONSTITUTION OF MICHIGAN OF 1963 § 3 Assembly, consultation, instruction, petition. Sec. 3. The people have the right peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives and to petition the government for redress of grievances.


441 views0 comments