Revisiting Reed v Town of Gilbert & Its Impact on Local Sign Regulations. This blog has been updated with new information since its original publication in June 2021.
As the weather warms up, so does campaign season. This year, Michigan will hold elections for every U.S. House Seat, statewide seats such as Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State, state house and state senate seats, and numerous local elections. Already political signs are popping up across the state. Read More ›
On February 3, in a narrow 4-3 decision, the Michigan Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the newly drawn legislative districts approved by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) late last year. The lawsuit was brought by the Detroit Caucus and alleged that the districts surrounding Detroit violated the federal Voting Rights Act by disenfranchising Black voters. Read More ›
On November 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a constitutional challenge brought forward by a bipartisan group of Michigan state legislators arguing that their state’s term limits violate their constitutional rights. Read More ›
Once every ten years, the US Constitution requires a count of all persons residing in the country for the purpose of reapportioning the US House of Representatives. The Census Bureau uses this count to determine how many house seats each state is entitled to. From there, each state draws its own congressional maps using the census data; here in Michigan, we have an independent citizens redistricting commission to draw both congressional districts and state house and senate districts. Read More ›
As the Michigan Legislature continues to explore election reform, one bill has received near unanimous bipartisan support in the House. House Bill 4528 requires political parties, organizations, committees and their members to complete comprehensive training before serving as election challengers. Read More ›
Michigan Election Law (MEL) regulates every aspect of voting, including what happens to a ballot after it is cast. As one Michigan township clerk recently found out, if those rules are not closely followed, clerks and other election officials could be facing misdemeanor charges. Read More ›
Michigan House Passes Election Law Reforms Addressing Reportable Conditions, Precinct Sizes, and AV Counting Boards
The Michigan House of Representatives has introduced and passed, with wide bipartisan support, a number of election reform bills. The bulk of the bills are in response to a 2019 report issued by the Michigan Office of the Auditor General (“OAG Report”). The OAG Report identified three “reportable conditions” and one “material condition”; House Bills 4127-31 attempt to correct the reportable conditions (the material condition is an internal access issue and is being resolved administratively). Separately, the House passed HB 4134 to increase the size of precincts and HB 4135 to amend the rules for absent voter counting boards. Read More ›
In the months leading up to this election, Michigan has seen a number of changes to the election process promulgated by the Legislature, Governor, courts, Secretary of State, and even the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The good news – many of the changes will not be noticeable to most voters.
Foster Swift’s election law team has put together a short summary of the most important changes for voters and election administrators to be aware: Read More ›
Bill Passes Michigan Senate, Allowing Qualifying Cities and Townships to Process Absentee Ballots Prior to Election Day
Social distancing and precautionary measures taken by citizens across the state has moved voting from the ballot box to the mail box. As a result, local government officials in Michigan are anticipating record numbers of mail-in ballots for this November’s general election. According to Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, over 2.1 million absentee ballots have already been requested—far surpassing the 1.2 million requested in the 2016 presidential election.
Given this unprecedented influx of absentee voting, local government officials tasked with processing ballots have begun to express concern over the logistical issues which may arise on Election Day. In response to this concern, the Michigan Legislature has begun to take action. Read More ›
Judge Kathleen Feeney, a sitting 17th Circuit Judge (Kent County), recently won her lawsuit to be given the incumbency designation for the upcoming November election. Additionally, she will be listed separately on the ballot. Judge Feeney is seeking reelection to the bench where she has sat since her initial appointment in 2000. Read More ›