Michigan’s fee to recount election votes would double if a losing candidate is down by more than 5 percentage points under legislation approved Tuesday by the state Senate in response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount bid last fall. The bill would increase the fee from $125 per precinct to $250. It would stay at $125 if the margin is 5 points or less and remain at $25 if it is under half of a point. Stein sought the recount despite winning 1 percent of the vote, questioning the accuracy of the vote and suggesting, without evidence, that votes were susceptible to hacking.
Articles about voting issues in Michigan.
Michigan would double fees for long-shot election recounts under legislation approved Tuesday by the state Senate following a partial hand recount of 2016 presidential votes prompted by Green Party nominee Jill Stein. Stein petitioned for a Michigan recount despite receiving less than two percent of the vote in the state’s Nov. 7 election that saw Republican President Donald Trump officially defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes. Michigan law required Stein to pay $973,250 for the massive hand recount — $125 per physical and absentee ballot precinct — but Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office estimated the actual cost for the state and local clerks could approach $2 million.
Legislation up for a vote in the Michigan Senate would double the fee for losing candidates to file recount petitions if they are down by more than 5 percentage points. The bill is a response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount last fall despite her winning 1 percent of the vote. The Republican-sponsored measure to be approved Tuesday would increase recount fees from $125 per precinct to $250 if losing candidates are behind by more than 5 points.
Michigan: House Democrat wants ‘voter bill of rights’ added to the Michigan Constitution | MLive.com
A Democratic state lawmaker is reintroducing legislation he says would make voting easier and more accessible to Michigan citizens by changing the state Constitution to include a “voter bill of rights.” The bills, first introduced last session and brought to light again by Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, proposes adding several provisions to the existing Constitutional right to vote, including allowing no-reason absentee ballots, allowing people to vote in-person absentee up to 15 days prior to an election, automatic voter registration and automatically sending military and overseas voters a ballot at least 45 days prior to an election.
… With Michigan’s next general election still more than a year and a half away, handicappers are already speculating which of the familiar faces circling one another are poised to rule the state’s political landscape after 2018. But the future of Michigan politics — and the partisan complexion of future state legislatures and congressional delegations — may depend more on the U.S. Supreme Court, whose nine members will decide in a few weeks whether to take up a voting-rights case with big implications for Michigan’s political destiny. Federal and state laws require that members of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislative bodies be elected from districts that are approximately equal in population. Each member of the current U.S. House, for instance, represents approximately 700,000 residents.
Although President Trump won the state by a narrow margin, GOP candidates in down-ballot races in Michigan won across the board, adding further to their large majority in the State Legislature. According to a new test conducted by Bridge Magazine, GOP candidates succeed in Michigan despite relatively equal support for both parties because of gerrymandered districts. The test, titled the “efficiency gap,” calculates how many votes are “wasted” when a certain party draws district lines in their favor. Wasted votes are those cast for the candidate that didn’t win and those cast for the winning candidate beyond the number they needed to win.
Michigan: Civil Rights Commission urges U.S. Supreme Court to review emergency manager law | Michigan Radio
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission wants the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case against Gov. Snyder. That’s what commissioners decided with a 5-0 vote Tuesday. They ordered the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to file an amicus brief urging the high court to review the issues raised in the case Bellant v. Snyder. The case makes the claim that Michigan’s emergency manager law, Public Act 436, violates the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting power of people in certain communities, particularly African Americans.
Using state-of-the-art voting machines wouldn’t have changed the controversial results of Michigan’s presidential election last fall, according to Detroit and state election officials. But new digital machines unveiled Saturday — to about 1,200 volunteer supervisors of Detroit’s polling sites — won’t suffer the frequent breakdowns of the old machines, causing lines to back up with impatient voters, and soon will be used statewide, officials said. “At the end of the day, we all have one goal, right? To ensure that every person that wants to vote gets to vote and we count that vote accurately,” Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey told the poll workers. In an event billed as an equipment fair, Winfrey and her staff showed off the new, $4,000 voting tabulators to noisy, curious crowds of election volunteers who gathered — one group in the morning, another in the afternoon — at Wayne County Community College in downtown Detroit.
Kevin Deegan-Krause held up an oddly shaped Lego creation last week and asked a crowd of about 150 people in Plymouth, “Can a creepy lizard threaten democracy?” His red and blue depiction of the sprawling 14th Congressional District didn’t look like a creepy lizard. His son thinks it looks like a saxophone, while his daughter says it resembles an assault rifle — even including an open spot for a trigger where Farmington has been carved out of the district. The Lego blocks may not look like the Massachusetts congressional district drawn in 1812 that spawned the term gerrymander — that district looked like a salamander and was combined with the name of the Massachusetts governor at the time, Elbridge Gerry. But Deegan-Krause’s teaching tool is a pretty accurate representation of the 14th Congressional District and a classic example of how gerrymandering is happening in Michigan.
Michigan: Supreme Court could decide if Emergency Manager law violates Voting Rights Act | MLive.com
Attorneys are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case challenging Michigan’s emergency manager law, contending Flint’s water crisis now stands as evidence for “what happens when the government is allowed to run our communities based only on the ‘bottom line.’ “In filing a petition for a Writ of Certiorari Friday, March 31, Ann Arbor attorney and professor Samuel R. Bagenstos claims the emergency manager law is racially discriminatory and deprives citizens of their rights under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.