November (2022) MI Ballot Proposals

There are three statewide proposals for constitutional amendments in Michigan on the November 2022 ballot. Here is the language, copied verbatim, from a sample ballot. Personally, I’m ambivalent on the first, but strongly opposed to the second and vehemently opposed to the third.

Proposal 22-1

A proposal to amend the state constitution to require annual public financial disclosure reports by legislators and other state officers and change state legislator term limit to 12 total years in legislature

This proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Require members of legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general file annual public financial disclosure reports after 2023, including assets, liabilities, income sources, future employment agreements, gifts, travel reimbursements, and positions held in organizations except religious, social, and political organizations.
  • Require legislature implement but not limit or restrict reporting requirements.
  • Replace current term limits for state representatives and state senators with a 12-year total limit in any combination between house and senate, except a person elected to senate in 2022 may be elected the number of times allowed when that person became a candidate.

Should this proposal be adopted?

Proposal 22-2

A proposal to amend the state constitution to add provisions regarding elections

This proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Recognize fundamental right to vote without harassing conduct;
  • Require military or overseas ballots be counted if postmarked by election day;
  • Provide voter right to verify identity with photo ID or signed statement;
  • Provide voter right to single application to vote absentee in all elections;
  • Require state-funded absentee-ballot drop boxes, and postage for absentee applications and ballots;
  • Provide that only election officials may conduct post-election audits;
  • Require nine days of early in-person voting;
  • Allow donations to fund elections, which must be disclosed,
  • Require canvass boards certify election results based only on the official records of votes cast.

Should this proposal be adopted?

The majority of the provisions in proposal 22-2 are already a part of the election laws of Michigan, so this is redundant. There are two bullets that could be problematic – the first (the second bullet point) is to require votes to be counted after election day, the second (the seventh bullet point) to require nine days of early in-person voting. According to the second point, no results in any election could be reported as final until all ballots are in and counted, and how can you even be sure that is the case? How long must we wait for all ballots in the mail to arrive and be counted? The seventh point is even worse – requiring staffed, in-person early voting for nine days. Security alone for the voting equipment would be a nightmare. If you’re worried about the security of your ballots, this should alarm you. Early voting is already addressed through the absentee ballot process, so this is really dangerous and unnecessary.

I recommend a no vote on this one!

Proposal 22-3

A proposal to amend the state constitution to establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make all decisions about pregnancy and abortion; allow state to regulate abortion in some cases; and forbid prosecution of individuals exercising established right

This proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility;
  • Allow state to regulate abortion after fetal viability, but not prohibit if medically needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health;
  • Forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right; prohibit prosecution of an individual, or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment;
  • Invalidate state laws conflicting with this amendment.

Should this proposal be adopted?

This proposal, 22-3, is just bad. Regardless of your position on abortion, this is is bad news. It is a wide open door with no restrictions on who can get an abortion, or even who can approve or provide care. It completely leaves out the possibility of any possible parental responsibility or notification. In the third point, prosecution is expressly prohibited for anyone who helps in an abortion, even if it goes bad. That in itself is enough to make it bad law, but there’s more. The final point vaguely invalidates all conflicting current laws. What does that even mean? Just read this amendment, then read it again. See if it is what you really want. To make this a part of the constitution is foolish.

I heartily recommend a no vote on this proposal.

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