Updated: Oct 27, 2022
Oct. 22, 2022
New, legally unauthorized one-stop satellite voting site on MSU campus. "The East Lansing City Clerk’s rotating satellite office opened on Monday, Oct. 10 on the Michigan State University (MSU) campus to better serve all East Lansing voters leading up to and during the November 8, 2022 General Election." City of Lansing Clerk press release, Oct. 10, 2022.
Does a campus-located site really serve all East Lansing voters?
Are leftist non-profits also funding equivalent sites on more conservative campuses like Hillsdale College?
Michigan law requires government efforts to register voters and locate voting sites in a fair and balanced manner, not a targeted or biased one. Plus, the law requires ballots to be issued in sequence. And new chain of custody laws demand absentee ballots to be tracked and kept secure.
PIME supporter Anne Hill asked questions and cited the laws in her Oct. 14 letter to East Lansing City Clerk Jennifer Schuster.
October 14, 2022
Subject: Satellite Office Dear Clerk Shuster, I received your news release of 10/10/22, regarding Rotating Satellite Office on MSU campus, and have some concerns about satellite offices on the campus being compliant with Michigan election law. “We are excited to be able to bring our satellite office back to the MSU campus this fall and add new, rotating locations,” Shuster said. “The satellite office is intended to be a ‘one stop shop’ for voters so they can register to vote, change their address, get an absentee ballot, vote that ballot and even place it in the drop box on site. Not only are we focused on making voting accessible for all voters in East Lansing, but we want students to feel comfortable with the voting process, which can often feel intimidating for first-time voters. Even if voters are not registered in East Lansing, we will be available to offer assistance and answer questions about voting in general.” Specifically, these rotating satellites are only scheduled for MSU campus locations. Targeted satellite offices for the expressed purpose of registering voters may violate MCL 168.509dd. Voter registration programs need to be applied to the entire city in a uniform manner. By locating the satellite offices only on campus, which by default targets the student population, the program is not being conducted uniformly throughout the city. MICHIGAN ELECTION LAW (EXCERPT) Act 116 of 1954 168.509dd Program to register voters or remove names. Sec. 509dd. (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. Secondarily, by stating that voters can get an absentee ballot, it is implied that ballots for multiple precincts will be stocked at the satellite office. MCL 168.761(4) provides specific instruction describing the lawful distribution of absentee ballots. MICHIGAN ELECTION LAW (EXCERPT) Act 116 of 1954 168.761 Absent voter ballots; mailing or delivering to applicant; rejection of application; order of issuance; numbering; return envelope; form; statement; false statement as misdemeanor or felony; presenting of identification for election purposes; affidavit; challenged ballot. Sec. 761. (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. The clerk shall enclose with the ballot or ballots a return envelope properly addressed to the clerk and bearing upon the back of the envelope a printed statement in substantially the following form… If both the main and satellite office(s) are simultaneously distributing absentee ballots for the same precinct (e.g. the deputy clerks at each location have their own stack of numbered absentee ballots) it is impossible to guarantee that the ballots are distributed in sequential order. Put another way, in order to guarantee the ballots are distributed in ‘true’ sequential order, there can be only one stack of ballots to pull from. Every ballot in a given precinct is required to have a unique stub number. This statue effectively requires that only one ‘package’ of numbered ballots for any precinct is open at a time, meaning absentee ballots for a precinct must always originate from the same location, or from one location at a time (e.g. wherever the ballot bearing the smallest stub number happens to be located). Upon being elected by the voters of East Lansing to the position of Clerk, you swore an oath to uphold the laws as written. Furthermore, MCL168.931(2) provides penalties for violation of election law statutes for which a penalty is not otherwise specified. (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. Respectfully, Anne Hill
Proud attendees at launch of legally unauthorized roving satellite voting sites on MSU campus. (from left to right) Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, East Lansing City Clerk Jennifer Shuster, MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., and Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum pose at the satellite clerk office on MSU's campus. https://www.wkar.org/wkar-news/2022-10-11/east-lansing-city-clerk-opens-rotating-satellite-office-for-voters-on-msu-campus
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson poses at launch of new and legally unauthorized roving satellite voting sites on MSU campus. https://www.wkar.org/wkar-news/2022-10-11/east-lansing-city-clerk-opens-rotating-satellite-office-for-voters-on-msu-campus
(city of East Lansing)
MSU Department of Forestry
Council of Graduate Students:
"Beginning on October 10 and through Election Day (November 8), MSU will host 4 rotating East Lansing City Clerk satellite offices on campus for one-stop help on all things voter engagement: https://cogs.msu.edu/2022/10/on-campus-voter-registration-and-other-city-clerk-services-available-from-october-10th-nov-8/
register to vote
sign up for an absentee ballot
pick up an absentee ballot
vote in advance of Election Day
LOCATIONS: Oct. 10-14: Student Services Bldg – Room 110 Oct. 17-21: MSU Library, 2nd Floor Oct. 26- 28: IM Sports East – by Welcome Desk Oct. 31- Nov. 6: Brody Hall – Grotto
See Flyer for Specific hours. Or check out: https://www.msuvote.msu.edu/events
4 days ago — Spartans are now able to vote, register to vote and pick up absentee ballots on campus using the new mobile satellite voting offices.
University of Michigan
C ity oImage: City of Lansing clerk press release, Oct. 10, 2022. ity Oct 12, 2022 — Here is some info on how to register to vote and cast your ballot at these three public universities for the NoThe East Lansing City Clerk’s rotating satellite office opened on Monday, Oct. 10 on the Michigan State University (MSU) campus to better serve all East Lansing voters leading up to and during the November 8, 2022 General Election."
MICHIGAN ELECTION LAW (EXCERPT) Act 116 of 1954
168.931 Prohibited conduct; violation as misdemeanor; “valuable consideration” defined.
(1) A person who violates 1 or more of the following subdivisions is guilty of a misdemeanor:
(a) A person shall not, either directly or indirectly, give, lend, or promise valuable consideration, to or for any person, as an inducement to influence the manner of voting by a person relative to a candidate or ballot question, or as a reward for refraining from voting.
(b) A person shall not, either before, on, or after an election, for the person's own benefit or on behalf of any other person, receive, agree, or contract for valuable consideration for 1 or more of the following:
(i) Voting or agreeing to vote, or inducing or attempting to induce another to vote, at an election.
(ii) Refraining or agreeing to refrain, or inducing or attempting to induce another to refrain, from voting at an election.
(iii) Doing anything prohibited by this act.
(iv) Both distributing absent voter ballot applications to voters and receiving signed applications from voters for delivery to the appropriate clerk or assistant of the clerk. This subparagraph does not apply to an authorized election official.
(c) A person shall not solicit any valuable consideration from a candidate for nomination for, or election to, an office described in this act. This subdivision does not apply to requests for contributions of money by or to an authorized representative of the political party committee of the organization to which the candidate belongs. This subdivision does not apply to a regular business transaction between a candidate and any other person that is not intended for, or connected with, the securing of votes or the influencing of voters in connection with the nomination or election.
(d) A person shall not, either directly or indirectly, discharge or threaten to discharge an employee of the person for the purpose of influencing the employee's vote at an election.
(e) A priest, pastor, curate, or other officer of a religious society shall not for the purpose of influencing a voter at an election, impose or threaten to impose upon the voter a penalty of excommunication, dismissal, or expulsion, or command or advise the voter, under pain of religious disapproval.
(f) A person shall not hire a motor vehicle or other conveyance or cause the same to be done, for conveying voters, other than voters physically unable to walk, to an election.
(g) In a city, township, village, or school district that has a board of election commissioners authorized to appoint inspectors of election, an inspector of election, a clerk, or other election official who accepts an appointment as an inspector of election shall not fail to report at the polling place designated on election morning at the time specified by the board of election commissioners, unless excused as provided in this subdivision. A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $10.00 or imprisonment for not more than 10 days, or both. An inspector of election, clerk, or other election official who accepts an appointment as an inspector of election is excused for failing to report at the polling place on election day and is not subject to a fine or imprisonment under this subdivision if 1 or more of the following requirements are met:
(i) The inspector of election, clerk, or other election official notifies the board of election commissioners or other officers in charge of elections of his or her inability to serve at the time and place specified, 3 days or more before the election.
(ii) The inspector of election, clerk, or other election official is excused from duty by the board of election commissioners or other officers in charge of elections for cause shown.
(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.
(i) A delegate or member of a convention shall not solicit a candidate for nomination before the convention for money, reward, position, place, preferment, or other valuable consideration in return for support by the delegate or member in the convention. A candidate or other person shall not promise or give to a delegate money, reward, position, place, preferment, or other valuable consideration in return for support by or vote of the delegate in the convention.
(j) A person elected to the office of delegate to a convention shall not accept or receive any money or other valuable consideration for his or her vote as a delegate.
(k) A person shall not, while the polls are open on an election day, solicit votes in a polling place or within 100 feet from an entrance to the building in which a polling place is located.
(l) A person shall not keep a room or building for the purpose, in whole or in part, of recording or registering bets or wagers, or of selling pools upon the result of a political nomination, appointment, or election. A person shall not wager property, money, or thing of value, or be the custodian of money, property, or thing of value, staked, wagered, or pledged upon the result of a political nomination, appointment, or election.
(m) A person shall not participate in a meeting or a portion of a meeting of more than 2 persons, other than the person's immediate family, at which an absent voter ballot is voted.
(n) A person, other than an authorized election official, shall not, either directly or indirectly, give, lend, or promise any valuable consideration to or for a person to induce that person to both distribute absent voter ballot applications to voters and receive signed absent voter ballot applications from voters for delivery to the appropriate clerk.
(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.
(3) A person or a person's agent who knowingly makes, publishes, disseminates, circulates, or places before the public, or knowingly causes directly or indirectly to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, or placed before the public, in this state, either orally or in writing, an assertion, representation, or statement of fact concerning a candidate for public office at an election in this state, that is false, deceptive, scurrilous, or malicious, without the true name of the author being subscribed to the assertion, representation, or statement if written, or announced if unwritten, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(4) As used in this section, "valuable consideration" includes, but is not limited to, money, property, a gift, a prize or chance for a prize, a fee, a loan, an office, a position, an appointment, or employment.