Proposal Three passes, new voting laws will be added to Michigan constitution


On Nov. 6, Michigan voters voted yes on Proposal 18-3, adding several changes to voting laws into the Michigan Constitution.

The proposal was supported by Promote the Vote, a political campaign that aims to make voting more accessible to Michigan voters, according to their campaign manager Todd Cook.  

Proposal Three will add a constitutional amendment to the state constitution, adding several new voting laws.

The proposal was called with about 68 percent voting yes for the proposal, while about 32 percent voted no, with 57 percent of precincts reporting.

According to the amendment, these changes include ensuring straight ticket voting, automatic registration, same-day registration and moving the voting registration deadline to 15 days before an election.

Not everything in the proposal is new — some of the rules are already in affect, but will now be written into law.

According to Cook, the seven rules include the following:

  • Michigan voters would be given access to a secret ballot. These allow voters to vote anonymously. Cook said secret ballots would allow people to “vote their conscience” and minimize voting influence from other people. 
  • Allow Michigan voters to access “no reason” absentee ballots.
  • Ensure overseas ballots are sent out on time by the Michigan Government. Cook said this part of the proposal would mostly affect military personnel overseas. He also said 25 percent of overseas ballots aren’t counted because they don’t get sent out on time.
  • Ensure the option of straight ticket voting. This means voters will have the option to vote for one political party across all candidate races. Cook said this has been an option in Michigan for the past 127 years, with this election being the first time since that straight ticket voting won’t be an option.
  • Change voter registration deadline from 30 days before the election to 15 days before the election. Cook said if someone wants to vote within 14 days of the election, they will require additional steps to be approved.
  • Require an audit for Michigan election results.
  • Allow automatic registration at secretary of state offices. For example, when someone renews their driver’s license, they would be automatically registered to vote, unless they say otherwise. Cook said it would change this from an “opt-in” system to an “opt-out” system.

Promote the Vote states on its website that the proposal “provides a common-sense approach to remove barriers for working families, safeguarding our elections and putting voters first.”

Opponents however, fear the amendment will increase the amount of voter fraud.

A spokesperson for Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, Fred Woodhams, said in a Metro Times article that "a person would be able to sign the affidavit to register to vote without showing identification and present a single proof of residency. The lack of identity confirmation could open the door to registration fraud that would be difficult to detect on Election Day.”