PIME Testifies at Legislative Hearings

Sherri Ritchie, member of PIME Legislative Committee, testifies before the state House Elections and Ethics Committee, May 10.

Written Statement: House Hearing, May 10, 2022

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections 
Presenter: Sheree Ritchie, PIME Legislative Committee 
https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgpurintegrityforme@gmail.com In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance and The Oak Initiative

Before the Michigan House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, 
Representative Ann Bollin, Chair 
Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 1:00 PM or after committees are given leave by the House to meet, whichever time is later, Room 326, House Office Building, Lansing, MI  
Committee Clerk: Sondra GordonPhone: (517) 373-0910e-Mail: sgordon@house.mi.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections’ mission is to help restore election integrity to Michigan elections. PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement. We welcome all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

HB 5938 (Rep. Berman)Campaign finance; contributions and expenditures; provision related to contributions made under the Gaming Control and Revenue Act; repeal.
HB 6071 (Rep. Bollin)Elections; polling places; polling place locations; expand.
SB 273 (Sen. Johnson)Elections; election officials; regulation of absent voter ballot drop boxes; provide for.
SB 278 (Sen. MacDonald)Elections; absent voters; collection procedures for absent voter ballots deposited in an absent voter ballot drop box; modify.
SB 788 (Sen. Runestad)Campaign finance; contributions and expenditures; funds donated to a candidate for recall efforts; require candidate to establish a separate account used for recall purposes.
HB 5938 (Rep. Berman) Campaign finance; contributions and expenditures; provision related to contributions made under the Gaming Control and Revenue Act; repeal.

Position: We support this bill. Our understanding is that when Michigan made changes to its gambling laws, this section became meaningless, so this is a technical fix to remove an obsolete reference. This is a good bill to clean up our legal code by removing outdated references. Thank you, Rep. Berman.

HB 6071 (Rep. Bollin) Elections; polling places; polling place locations; expand.

Recommendations:

Michigan’s limitation to 2,999 persons per precinct protects the decentralization and local autonomy inherent in the state’s electoral process. We are concerned that item (6) in HB 6071 could foster the consolidation of precincts and undermine the state’s decentralized election integrity process. We have all witnessed the appalling end result of consolidation in Detroit’s TCF Center. 

On the other hand, limiting the expansion to six precincts could save townships and municipalities money. Having the flexibility to adjust to population shifts makes sense also. 

Position: Neutral

SB 273 (Sen. Johnson) Elections; election officials; regulation of absent voter ballot drop boxes; provide for.

Recommendations

Anyone who views the breath-taking evidence in Dinesh D’Souza’s 2000 Mules will, no doubt, acknowledge that drop boxes pose a serious threat to election integrity. Drop boxes must be eliminated. They cannot be secured, and they serve as the vehicle of choice for illegal ballot traffickers and harvesters. 

From our perspective, this bill is equivalent to allowing the victim of a firing squad to specify environmentally friendly steel bullets for her execution as compared to environmentally harmful lead bullets. 

We strongly urge the committee to eliminate drop boxes altogether. The citizenry has ready access to US Mail services. The drop box abuse, as documented in 2000 Mules, makes evident that drop boxes skirt the basic rules designed to prevent ballot trafficking and harvesting. These devices provide fraudsters with the added time they need to determine who has not yet voted and to steal these unused votes. 

In addition, drop boxes neuter safeguards that otherwise help preserve absentee ballot integrity. As an example, drop boxes completely skirt the this statute:   

168.764a (c) In either (a) or (b), a member of the immediate family of the voter including a father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild or an individual residing in the voter’s household may mail or deliver a ballot to the clerk for the voter.

If a relative can drop a ballot in a box, that individual can drop it at the clerk’s office and show identity. 

In the event that the Committee determines it cannot eliminate drop boxes in their entirety, we respectfully request that you, as the people’s representatives, load six steel bullets below into this bill: 

  1. Restrict drop box placement and hours of availability. Strengthen video surveillance, video retention, and accessibility. 
  2. AMEND to prohibit all drop-off boxes other than those placed within a well-lit area of the clerk, electionsupervisor, or branch office of the clerk’s office; and other than those under continuous video surveillance with resolution of at least 1080 pixels.
  3. AMEND to require the clerk’s drop boxes be available only during regular business hours
  4. AMEND to require an election supervisor to designate each drop box site at least 30 days before an election. After designation of a location, the drop box must not be moved or changed. On each day of early voting, all drop boxes must be emptied at the end of early voting hours and all ballots retrieved from the drop boxes must be counted and returned to the supervisor’s office in accordance with published ballot chain of custody procedures.

AMEND to require certified staffers to do the work. Only the local clerk or a deputy clerk must be authorized to retrieve ballots from the drop box. A chain of custody log must be completed and signed. Staffers should receive training on the importance of protecting chain of custody and ways to maintain ballot security. 

Increase retention times uniformly across all aspects of voting records to ten (10) years. According to various statutes, retention of election records varies between 22 months and five years, depending on the type of records and the statute. We recommend retaining all election records consistently and long enough to allow completion of challenges, audits, and investigations. Having witnessed prolonged obstruction against real audits and investigations, we now understand that 22 months is insufficient time. We strongly recommend the legislature expand the time period for retaining election records to ten (10) years.

AMEND SB 273 wording: The video recordings of each absent voter ballot drop box used in a city or township must be retained by the city or township clerk for not less than [DELETE:]30 days [Change at a minimum to 22 months and preferably to ten (10) years] after the final certification of the election at which the absent voter ballots were collected. Upon request, the video recordings must be made available by the city or township clerk to the secretary of state or appropriate board of county canvassers [INSERT: , to any attorneys, individual  citizen, group of citizens, and to the public at large.]

AMEND to require legal penalties. If any drop box at an early voting site is left accessible for the return of ballots outside of early voting hours or outside an approved and compliant site within a clerk’s office, the supervisor may be subject to a civil penalty of $25,000. Amend bill to clarify that the election bureau and local law enforcement are authorized to enforce this statute.

Tie bar SB 273 and 278 (Each references the passage of the other as a requirement. It would be a mess if one bill passed or was vetoed and not the other.)

AMEND to restore: Substitute SB 273 appears to remove several clauses from the original bill and place them solely in SB 278. PIME is not finding the following clause in either bill, however, and recommends restoring the following in either SB 273 or SB 278:

(9) The city or township clerk, his or her deputy clerk, or a sworn member of his or her staff, must complete a chain of custody log each time absent voter ballots are collected from an absent voter ballot drop box in the city or township. A city or township clerk must retain a chain of custody log described in this subsection for 6 years [Change to 10 years] after the date of the election at which the absent voter ballots were cast.

Position: Support with the amendments

SB 278 (Sen. MacDonald) Elections; absent voters; collection procedures for absent voter ballots deposited in an absent voter ballot drop box; modify.
In other words, ballots collected from an absentee voter drop box will need to be delivered immediately to city or township clerk’s office under MacDonald’s SB 0278

Recommendations: 

Tie bar SB 273 and 278. Each mentions the passage of  the other as a requirement. The importance of video recording of all drop boxes cannot be over-estimated. Failure of either SB 273 or SB 278 would have serious deleterious effect on the already open sieves that are drop boxes. What happens if either 273 or 278 fails? 

Delete: Section 761d: 3b: (3) (4) If an absent voter ballot drop box is located outdoors, all of the following requirements apply:

Change wording as follows: 

Sec. 761e.(3) If the design and construction of an absent voter ballot drop box installed in a city or township before January 1, 2022 [INSERT: is not approved as provided in subsection] (2) before June 1, 2022, that absent voter ballot drop box must [be sealed and removed by June 22, 2022]. Noncompliant drop boxes shall not be used at an[y] election held after June 1, 2022.

(4) Beginning June 1, 2022, a city or township clerk must use a video recording device[(s)] to [capture the face of each depositor] and monitor each absent voter ballot drop box location in that city or township. [Devices must clearly show at least two views: 1) The area around the drop boxes where people pull up their vehicles and then approach the drop box, and 2) a clear, frontal view of the individual as the individual deposits a ballot or ballots. The video must capture and display time, date, and location information.]

…The video recordings of each absent voter ballot drop box used in a city or township must be retained by the city or township clerk for not less than 30 days[22 months (to conform to election record retention laws, or more optimally to ten (10) years] after the final certification of the election at which the absent voter ballots were collected. Upon request, the video recordings must be made available by the city or township clerk to the secretary of state[,] or appropriate board of county canvassers [INSERT: , to any attorneys, individual  citizen, group of citizens, and to the public at large.]

(5) “AREA IS MAY BE UNDER SURVEILLANCE….

Position: Support with amendments as noted above

SB 788 (Sen. Runestad) Campaign finance; contributions and expenditures; funds donated to a candidate for recall efforts; require candidate to establish a separate account used for recall purposes.

Position: We are appalled at an unethical politician’s exploitation of a loophole in the law and her shift-and-shaft redirection of recall funds. We applaud Sen. Runestad for sponsoring well-reasoned legislation to codify into law what were formerly unwritten, common-sense ethics regarding campaign finance.  

Support. 

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,
Pure Integrity for MichiganElections
Andrea Smith, President, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
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PIME supporter Sheree Ritchie delivers PIME’s position on SB 5287 before the Michigan Senate on May 4, 2022.

https://imd0mxanj2.execute-api.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/ssr/watch/6272c1543297d00009c8bde5. Go to 4:24

Written Statement: 

Senate Hearing, Wed., May 4, 2022

Presenter: Sheree Ritchie
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections 
Website: https://pureintegritymichiganelections.org
Email: PIME2024@protonmail.com 
In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Senate Committee on Elections Senator Ruth Johnson, Chair
Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 2:00 p.m., 
Room 1300, Binsfeld Office Building, 201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933 Heather Dorbeck, Committee Clerk, (517) 373-5323
 OfcSCC@senate.michigan.gov

Pure Integrity Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 1,000 supporters across the state with concentrations in Ingham, Jackson, Eaton, Livingston, Clinton, and Washtenaw counties. In order to achieve its mission to help restore election integrity to Michigan elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

HB 5287         Rep. Martin    Elections; political parties; references to city or township party committees in the Michigan election law; modify to county party committees.

This bill appears to be a technical fix arising from the fact that township parties no longer exist. Thus, parts of the current statute make no sense, so the changes to update an outdated reference look positive.

Given that organizations and corporations are considered persons in the eyes of the law, PIME is in favor of replacing the word person with the word individual. However, given the exponential developments in artificial intelligence and robotics, we urge senators to include language that will protect the rights of natural-born Homo Sapiens. Merriam Webster defines the individual as “a single human being as contrasted with a social group or institution.” Others define the individual as a more a private or natural person as distinguished from a partnership, corporation, or association.

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the term individual denotes “a single person as distinguished from a group or class, and also, very commonly, a private or natural person as distinguished from a partnership, corporation, or association.” 

However, Black’s goes on to state, “It is said that this restrictive signification is not necessarily inherent in the word, and that it may, in proper cases, include artificial persons.”

We encourage our representatives to include herein a definition of individual as a “single human being and a private or natural person in contrast to a social group, partnership, corporation, association, or artificial entity.”

PositionPIME supports HB 5287 with an added definition of individual to exclude artificial or collective entities.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair 
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections
Andrea Smith, 
Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
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Written Statement: Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Hearing, March 22, 2022

From: Legislative CommitteePure Integrity for Michigan Elections 
https://pureintegritymichiganelections.org
purintegrityforme@gmail.com 
In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
To: Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, 
Rep. Luke Meerman, Chair 
Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2022, 9:00 a.m., 
Room 1100, Binsfeld Office Building, 201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933Committee Clerk: Jackie MosherPhone: (517) 373-5312e-Mail:jmosher@senate.michigan.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 720 supporters across the state with concentrations in Ingham, Jackson, Eaton, Clinton, Livingston, and Washtenaw counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement. We welcome all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

JCAR 21-72. (MOAHR No. 2021-060 ST) Department of State, Bureau of Elections – Disqualification from Ballot Based Upon Contents of Affidavit of Identity.

PIME Concerns:

  1. Candidates would be disqualified solely because the candidate did not include a list of jurisdictions in which the candidate had previously sought office. 
  2. Candidates are not given an opportunity to cure mistakes and no means of appeal or remedy, per “R 168.2 4 Candidates disqualified on this basis cannot reverse disqualification by filing a corrected affidavit,” and  “R 168.3  2 Candidates disqualified on this basis cannot reverse disqualification by filing a corrected affidavit.”
  3. This rule could be applied selectively to eliminate targeted opposition candidates. 
  4. A person’s right to run for office and represent constituents should be afforded the same right to cure errors as a person registering to vote and voting.

JCAR 21-73 (MOAHR No. 2021-061 ST) Department of State, Bureau of Elections Signature Matching for Absent Voter Ballot Applications and Absent Voter Ballot Envelopes.

Position: PIME believes the Committee’s change suggestion is partially correct in that it addresses a conflict with statute to prioritize use of the QVF as the reference signature source, and if not present, the master card signature may be used. 

However, we believe it overlooks the more serious flaw in that the proposed rule R 168.21(1)(d) directly conflicts with several statutes in that it suggests the absentee ballot application signature (and not the master card signature) may be used as a reference document (i.e., “signature on file”) to validate a voter’s signature. 

This part of the proposed rule is in direct conflict with all relevant statutes that explicitly only allow the QVF digital signature or the master card signature to be used as the reference document when verifying the validity of a (prospective) voter’s signature on an absentee ballot application signature or an absentee ballot return envelope. Even if it is current practice (i.e., suggested in current election manuals), the use of a signature from an absentee ballot application signature to verify an absentee ballot return envelope signature is in explicit violation of all relevant statutes (MCL 168.761(1), MCL 168.761(2), MCL 168.765a(6), MCL 168.766(1), MCL 168.766(2), and MCL 168.767); is therefore unlawful, and must be recognized as such. 

If current practice is against the law, the current practice should be changed. The solution is not to create or allow a rule that perpetuates violation of statute.

The letter from the Board of Elections states that it “serves to notify JCAR that the Secretary is withdrawing this Ruleset under MCL 24.245a(10)(a) as permitted by MCL 24.245c(2), effective immediately.”

However, PIME is struggling to understand, the statement, “The Secretary will submit notice of the change to R 168.22(1) explained above to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules (MOAHR) for review, as required under MCL 24.245c(2). Upon receiving approval from MOAHR as to the form of the changes and a decision from MOAHR as to any burden created by the changes, the Secretary will take the appropriate action under MCL 24.245c(3) or MCL 24.245c(4).”

If the meaning is that the BOE is withdrawing its application for Rule JCAR 21-73 in its entirety, PIME supports the action. 

JCAR 21-74 (MOAHR No. 2021-062 ST) Department of State, Bureau of Elections Online Absent Voter Ballot Application.

PIME agrees in entirety with JCAR’s Feb. 23, 2022, response to the BOE proposed rule changes. 

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for MichiganElectionsAndrea Smith, President, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance

Written Statement: House Hearing, March 1, 2022

Presenter: Patrice Johnson, Chair

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections

https://pureintegritymichiganelections.org

purintegrityforme@gmail.com

In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance

Before the Michigan House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, 

Representative Ann Bollin, Chair

Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2022, 12:00 p.m., 
Room 326, House Office Building, Lansing, MI 

Submitted to: Committee Clerk: Sondra Gordon, Phone: (517) 373-0910, e-Mail: sgordon@house.mi.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 700 supporters across the state with concentrations in Ingham, Jackson, Eaton, Clinton, Livingston, and Washtenaw counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement. We welcome all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

SB 306 (Sen. Roger Victory, R)Elections; election officials; secretary of state to prepare a report regarding clerks who are not current with training; require, and require secretary of state to post the report on the department of state website.
SB 308 (Sen. Kevin Daley, R)Elections; election officials; signature verification training for clerks and election inspectors; require, and require the secretary of state to promulgate rules regarding an objective signature verification process.
HJR G (Rep. Julie Calley, R)A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution of 1963, by amending sections 1 and 2 of article XII, to change the deadlines for proposed amendments to the state constitution.

SB 306 (Sen. Victory). Elections; election officials; secretary of state to prepare a report regarding clerks who are not current with training; require, and require secretary of state to post the report on the department of state website.

Position: Support.

SB 308 (Sen. Daley). Elections; election officials; signature verification training for clerks and election inspectors; require, and require the secretary of state to promulgate rules regarding an objective signature verification process. 

Position: We appreciate the Senator making clear that signature verification should contain no presumption of validity. There should be no instructions or guidance given to election officials to accept a signature as valid if the signature has “any redeeming qualities.” The Sec. of State is out of bounds to train clerks that, in the absence of supportive information, they should consider hypothetical or circumstantial factors that may affect a voter’s signature. If the clerk suspects age or health factors could be affecting a voter’s signature, the clerk should contact the voter to verify these factors on factual grounds. PIME further supports the portion of the bill that provides for all local clerks and precinct inspectors to go through signature verification training. 

PIME strongly supports this bill

HJR G (Rep. Calley) A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution of 1963, by amending sections 1 and 2 of article XII, to change the deadlines for proposed amendments to the state constitution.

Support. Allowing more time appears to be a good thing.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair, Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsAndrea Smith, President, 
Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Jim Johnson testifies on Senate Bill 884 regarding Made in America Election Machines. 
Fast forward to 58:09

Senate Elections hearing Feb. 22, 2022

Written Statement: 

Senate Hearing, Wed., Feb. 23, 2022

Presenter: James Johnson
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections 
Website: https://pureintegritymichiganelections.org
email: purintegrityforme@gmail.com 

Special thanks to Patrick Colbeck for sharing his insights and analysis of this bill.  

In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Senate Committee on Elections Senator Ruth Johnson, ChairWednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, 2:00 p.m., 

Room 1300, Binsfeld Office Building,
201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933 

Heather Dorbeck, Committee Clerk, 
517) 373-5323
OfcSCC@senate.michigan.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 570 supporters across the state with concentrations in Ingham, Jackson, Eaton, Clinton, and Washtenaw counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

SB 788, Sen. Runestad. Campaign finance; contributions and expenditures; funds donated to a candidate for recall efforts; require candidate to establish a separate account used for recall purposes.

SB 884, Sen. Johnson. Elections; voting equipment; use of electronic voting systems manufactured outside of the United States; prohibit.

1. SB 788, Sen. Runestad. Campaign finance; contributions and expenditures; funds donated to a candidate for recall efforts; require candidate to establish a separate account used for recall purposes.

PositionSupport.

2. SB 884, Sen. Johnson. Elections; voting equipment; prohibit use of electronic voting systems manufactured outside of the United States.

Position: Support with the following amendments:

A. PIME takes the position that voting systems should be treated as critical infrastructure, and it is not feasible to operate or maintain a statewide electronic voting system that is impenetrable to bad-actor intrusion. If the State insists on using electronic voting systems, prohibiting their manufacture outside of the United States is a good first step in that direction. Made in USA voting systems would enhance the integrity of Michigan elections,create employment, and help re-shore a healthy manufacturing tax base. 

A lot of latitude is given for the selection of electronic tabulating machines as long as they satisfy several “high level” requirements (i.e., Sec. 794a/795). Whether Made in USA or not, ALL components associated with the voting system need to be subject to state certification procedures. As an example, there are 90 components in the ES&S 6.2.0.0 system. One microchip made in China installed on the motherboard is all that is necessary to open a back door for intruders to enter and manipulate our election systems. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies

B. As PIME understands it, U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is not directly required, except as perhaps specified by the National Association of State Election Directors. The State of Mich. contract requires EAC certification. Then it cites requirements inconsistent with EAC certification, such as requiring wireless connectivity, which is prohibited by the EAC.

To avoid confusion and centralization of the management of our elections, which would add to the risk of compromise and intrusions, EAC certification should be avoided altogether. Individual states need to take ownership of the security of their state and federal elections. 

Michigan should train its focus on treating our voting systems as critical infrastructure. Then we should make sure that our electronic voting systems are compliant with critical infrastructure requirements. As an example, VVSG 1.1 requires Failure Modes and Effects Analyses, and not a single voting system has been certified compliant with VVSG 1.1 to date. There may be better requirements specific to cybersecurity other than VVSG 1.1 that would merit further investigation.

C. In the absence of an existent legislature-approved, accredited and independent testing authority, an authority should be contracted and assessed objectively. Without proper testing via an accredited independent testing authority, election equipment should be prohibited from use. Further, no disrespect to the Board of Canvassers, but they are not specialists qualified to review and approve software and components of election equipment.

(4) TheSubject to subsection (10), the board of state canvassers shall approve an electronic voting system for use in this state only if it meets the conditions of subsection (1) except that in an emergency situation that threatens the ability of a county, city, or township to conduct a scheduled election, the board of state canvassers may approve [Insert: an independent certification agency to analyze and certify] correction of software or firmware after testing the software or firmware performance. 

D. Section 795(a) (1)(b) should be deleted in its entirety as it creates a dangerous loophole that could compromise election integrity. As evidenced in the past Board of State Canvasser agendas and minutes, equipment requests are placed on the agenda and quickly approved. The Board of State Canvassers should not be the gatekeepers for the certification and approval process. They do not possess, nor should they be required to possess, the expertise to specify alternative methods of certifying election equipment components. 

Recommend Delete: (4)(b) In the absence of an accredited independent testing authority, is certified by the manufacturer of the voting system as meeting or exceeding the performance and test standards referenced in subdivision (a) in a manner prescribed by the board of state canvassers

E. If voting equipment no longer meets the requirements of certification, it must not be approved. The discretional word, may, should be replaced with the mandatory word, must, as noted below:

(9) If the board of state canvassers determines that an electronic voting system that was approved under subsection (1) no longer meets the requirements described in that subsection, the board of state canvassers may must disapprove that electronicvoting system. AnSubject to subsection (10), an electronic voting system that has been disapproved by the board of state canvassers under this subsection shall must not be used in an election, unless it is [Insert: recertified by a legislature-approved, accredited and independent testing authority and then] reapproved by the board of state canvassers under subsection (1).

(10) For an electronic voting system acquired on or after March 1, 2022, the board of state canvassers shall not approve that electronic voting system if it was manufactured outside of the United States [Insert: or if it contains any foreign-manufactured microprocessor chips, software, or components. This subsection does not prohibit the repair, maintenance, or acquisition of components necessary for the proper operation of an electronic voting system that was acquired and approved before March 1, 2022. However, all such repair, maintenance or acquired components must be inspected and documented to meet State certification standards.

795  (k) Provide an audit trail. (Recommend adding detail here or incorporating detail into Sec. 795a.)

(6) After an electronic voting system is approved, an improvement or change in the electronic voting system shallmustbe submitted Insert: for review and recertification before going to the board of state canvassers for approval pursuant tounderthis section. Recommend delete: This subsection does not apply to the technical capability of a general purpose computer, reader, or printer to electronically record and count votes.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Andrea Smith, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Richard Mann. Fast forward to 19:00
Jim Johnson. Fast forward to 5:00 and 12:14

https://imd0mxanj2.execute-api.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/ssr/watch/620d4ec7f3aeef000875c759

Written Statement: 

Senate Hearing, Wed., Feb. 16, 2022

Presenter: Rick MannPure Integrity for Michigan Elections Website: https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgemail: purintegrityforme@gmail.com In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s AllianceBefore the Senate Committee on Elections Senator Ruth Johnson, ChairWednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, 2:00 p.m., 
Room 1300, Binsfeld Office Building, 201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933 Heather Dorbeck, Committee Clerk, (517) 373-5323, OfcSCC@senate.michigan.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 575 supporters across the state with concentrations in Ingham, Jackson, Eaton, Clinton, and Washtenaw counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

HB 4132, Rep. Wendzel (R),  Elections; offenses; certain felonies involving absent voter ballot applications; create.

HB 4133, Rep. Bollin (R), Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for certain Michigan election law violations dealing with absent voter ballot applications; provide for.

HB 4425, Rep. Green (R),  Elections; political parties; allow state political party to change name to affiliated national political party.

HB 5258, Rep. Koleszar (D) Elections; candidates; transmission of proof copies of the ballot to candidates; allow clerks to email.

  1. HB 4132. Rep. Wendzel. Elections; offenses; create certain felonies involving absent voter ballot applications.

Position: Praise goes to Rep. Wendzel and Rep. Bollin for raising the stakes for violators of absent voter ballot application statutes. This bill is a good start to giving clerks more oversight in the local community elections for which they are responsible. It makes it easier to identify valid absentee ballot requests submitted by qualified voters through uniformity in application forms. It also provides stronger deterrents to those who attempt to submit counterfeit absentee ballot requests. However, the bill is missing subtle yet necessary alterations as noted below:

Our groups support HB 4132 with the following amendments:

  1. To avoid county or state officials exercising undue influence or introducing chaos into their community, Subsection(4) should be amended to restrict authorized handlers or intermediaries of absentee ballot requests to the municipal or township clerks and their subordinates. This change closes a loophole that could be interpreted to give authority to county clerks and state officials to handle or transport completed absentee ballot applications.

“(4) An applicant for an absent voter ballot shall sign the application. Subject to section 761(2), a clerk or assistant clerk shall not deliver an absent voter ballot to an applicant who does not sign the application. A person shall not be in possession of a signed absent voter ballot application except for the applicant; a member of the applicant’s immediate family; a person residing in the applicant’s household; a person whose job normally includes the handling of mail, but only during the course of his or her employment; a registered elector requested by the applicant to return the application; or a clerk, assistant of the clerk, or other authorized election official [INSERT] who is an employee of or subordinate to the clerk]. A registered elector who is requested by the applicant to return his or her absent voter ballot application shall sign the certificate on the absent voter ballot application.”

  • To avoid court wrangling during the prosecution of cases, PIME recommends deleting the word both and replacing it with or as indicated below: 

(8) A person who makes a false statement in an absent voter ballot application is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who forges a signature on an absent voter ballot application is guilty of a felony. A person who is not authorized in this act and who both distributes absent voter ballot applications to absent voters and  or returns those absent voter ballot applications to a clerk or assistant of the clerk is guilty of a misdemeanor felony.

  • PIME recommends allowing election officials more time to verify absentee ballots. PIME also recommends adding language to prevent absent ballot application harvesting. 

(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (1) and subject to section 761(3), at any time during the 75 days before an election, but not later than 8 p.m. on the day of 10 days before an election, an elector may apply for an absent voter ballot. The elector shall apply in person or by mail with the clerk of the township, city, or village in which the voter is registered. The clerk of a city or township shall not send by first-class mail an absent voter ballot to an elector after 5 p.m. on the Friday immediately before the election. Except as otherwise provided in section 761(2), the clerk of a city or township shall not issue an absent voter ballot to a registered elector in that city or township after 4 p.m. on the day 10 days before before the election.

  • HB 4133. Rep. Bollin. Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; provide for sentencing guidelines for certain Michigan election law violations dealing with absent voter ballot applications.

PIME supports this bill with the addition of language consistent with the changes we recommend for HB 4132.

  • HB 4425, Rep. Green (R),  Elections; political parties; state political party to change name to affiliated national political party; allow.

Position: PIME supports this bill.

4.   HB 5258, Rep. Koleszar (D), Elections; candidates; allow clerks to email transmission of proof copies of the ballot to candidates.


Position: On the surface, HB 5258 seems reasonable. Allowing correspondence via email between the clerks and candidates to resolve ballot errors should make it less likely for errors to go uncorrected. However, amendments are required. PIME could support 5258 if the following amendments are implemented:

  1. Using the word may instead of shall regarding email correspondence arguably allows the clerk to give preferential treatment to some candidates and to disadvantage others. The text should be changed to shall to avoid unequal treatment among candidates. In addition, telephone correspondence should be considered insufficient to authorize ballot changes. The request for changes should be documented in writing, so that it can be verified, whether changes are submitted via email or paper mail. It seems there should be official paper copies of the final, corrected ballot forms copied to the secretary of state, but email documentation may be sufficient.
  • Correction of a grammatical error: 

Sec. 711 (2) The county clerk shall prepare and sign an affidavit when sending proof ballots which: that attests [Delete s]….

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Andrea Smith, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance

Written Statement: House Hearing, Feb. 8, 2022

Presenter: James Johnson,
Executive Committee member

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections 
https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgpureintegrityforme@gmail.com
In support:
Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Michigan Citizens for Election Integrity
Before the Michigan House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, 
Representative Ann Bollin, Chair Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, 12:00 p.m., 
Room 326, House Office Building, Lansing, MI  Committee Clerk: Sondra GordonPhone: (517) 373-0910
e-Mail: sgordon@house.mi.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 530 supporters across the state with concentrations in Ingham, Jackson, Eaton, Clinton, and Washtenaw counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement. We welcome all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

HB 4163 (Rep. Berman)Campaign finance; advertising; address requirement on campaign material; remove.
HB 4967 (Rep. Paquette)Elections; ballots; security features on election ballots; require.
HB 5335 (Rep. Damoose)Elections; challengers; requirements for election challengers; provide for.
HB 5614 (Rep. VanWoerkom)Campaign finance; contributions and expenditures; provision related to officeholders raising funds when facing a recall; modify, and define an active recall as a recall in which the board of canvassers has approved that sufficient signatures have been collected.
  1. HB 4163. Rep. Berman. Campaign finance; advertising; address requirement on campaign material; remove.

Position: Support

  • HB 4967. Rep. Paquette. Elections; ballots; security features on election ballots; require. 

PIME Position: Support with recommendations.

  1. It seems it would be better for the proposal to identify the specific security measures that are required. For instance, “microprinting” and “colored ink” are undefined. The ballots are already printed with stubs that have colored ink, and some might already consider the fonts used to be too small. The point is that existing ballots without any changes may be argued to already satisfy the proposed changes. 
  2. Return envelope security is of equal importance. Even Chris Thomas, Michigan’s former longtime elections director made mention of absentee ballot return envelopes that were taped shut when received at the clerk’s office. How can anyone know for sure the ballot in such envelopes represented the will of the one qualified voter who was originally issued that specific ballot?
  3. There should be an explicit statement that an election official is prohibited from accepting any ballot or envelope for which the security provisions have been bypassed, mutilated, or appear counterfeit. This would make it a criminal offense (i.e., misdemeanor) for an election official to accept non-genuine or compromised election returns.
  4. HB 5335 (Rep. Damoose) Elections; challengers; requirements for election challengers; provide for.


PIME supports this bill and recommends one amendment. We support the idea that challengers must be trained, identifiable, and protected from harassment. Documentation of their challenges must be noted in the pollbook in order to preserve a record of events. We suggest one amendment to improve this bill further: 

Recommended amendment

(4) If a challenge is made by a challenger, an election inspector must enter that challenge in the poll book and include how the challenge was resolved. If a challenge was rejected, an election inspector must note in the poll book why the challenge was rejected. [Recommend insert: If an election inspector fails to or refuses to enter a challenge into the poll book, the inspector will be subject to a fine of $1,000 for each unentered challenge.]

  • HB 5614 Rep. VanWoerkom. Campaign finance; contributions and expenditures; provision related to officeholders raising funds when facing a recall; modify, and define an active recall as a recall in which the board of canvassers has approved that sufficient signatures have been collected.

Position: Support with amendment.

Recommended amendment: We do not understand the rationale for exempting the recall candidate from serving as the treasurer of their own recall committee. On the surface, it appears the recall candidate should be subject to the same rules as other candidates.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair, Pure Integrity for MichiganElectionsAndrea Smith, President, Eaton County Republican Women’s AllianceRebecca Behrends, MDVP Research, SecretaryMichigan Citizens for Election Integrity
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MISenate3_220119-135648.mp4

Written Statement: Senate Hearing, Wed., Jan. 19, 2022

Presenter: Alex Weddon Executive Committee Member
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections 
Website: https://pureintegritymichiganelections.org
email: purintegrityforme@gmail.com 
In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Senate Committee on Elections 
Senator Ruth Johnson, Chair
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, 2:00 p.m., 
Room 1300, Binsfeld Office Building, 201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933 
Heather Dorbeck, Committee Clerk, (517) 373-5323, OfcSCC@senate.michigan.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 500 supporters across the state with concentrations in Ingham, Jackson, Eaton, Clinton, and Washtenaw counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

SB 292             Sen. Outman   Elections; challengers; training for election challengers; require, and require the secretary of state to establish election challenger training curriculum.

SB 293             Sen. Outman   Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for certain Michigan election law violations dealing with challengers; repeal.

HB 4132         Rep. Wendzel Elections; offenses; certain felonies involving absent voter ballot applications; create.

HB 4133         Rep. Bollin     Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for certain Michigan election law violations dealing with absent voter ballot applications; provide for.

SB 292. Sen. Outman. Elections; challengers; training for election challengers; require, and require the secretary of state to establish election challenger training curriculum.

PIME Position: STRONG OPPOSITION

While some of this bill’s additions may have merit, its deletions are ill-conceived and dangerous. To exclude poll challengers who are unaffiliated with a political party is a solution in search of a problem. If the Legislature has concerns about potential uncomfortable concentrations of poll challengers, it should set reasonable parameters for the clerks apportion them. To bar an “incorporated organization or organized committee of citizens” from serving as poll challengers would constitute serious governmental overreach, and it would open the door to severe abuse, undermining election integrity at its core. 

Independent, nonpartisan, and grassroots groups and individuals bring energy and fresh perspectives to the electoral process. They often provide creative solutions to deeply entrenched problems. Independents, grassroots groups, and nonpartisan organizations keep the two parties honest. They provide healthy checks and balances. For this bill to exclude civic-minded citizens, grassroots groups, and nonpartisan organizations is a slap in the face to the American spirit of independence and civic involvement. This bill must not stand.

Furthermore, to expand the SOS’s administrative authority over elections is a mistake unless accompanied with more legislative scrutiny and oversight. The US Constitution guarantees the Legislature the responsibility to oversee “the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections.” Legislators must not abrogate that right. 

After the past election, the courts ruled the Secretary of State’s office violated the law when it told clerks to make challengers stand six feet distant, and thereby prevent them from doing their jobs. Today, the SOS’s election training manuals and materials contain instructions in clear violation of Michigan law. After notifying the SOS on November 8, 2021, of Examples of Election Manual Guidelines in Conflict with Michigan Election Law, PIME supporters have received no word of response, no indication that corrective measures were taken. 

The most glaring and disturbing violations involve:

  1. Signature matching guidelines for absentee ballots
  2. Acceptance of absentee ballots with incorrect stubs
  3. Omission of key requirements for appointing election inspectors

Lacking legislative intervention, these statute violations are likely to continue to undermine election integrity. 

Rather than locking challengers out of the election process, PIME recommends the Legislature take steps to enable greater transparency and require that all election training sessions should be video and audio recorded and published online for public review.  

PIME Recommends: 

Leave Section 730 (1) and (3) alone. DO NOT exclude incorporated organization or organized committee of citizens from the poll challenging process: 

Do NOT strike this language as the bill proposes. Sec. 730. (1) At an election, a political party or an incorporated organization or organized committee of citizens interested in the adoption or defeat of a ballot question being voted for or upon at the election, or interested in preserving the purity of elections and in guarding against the abuse of the elective franchise, may designate challengers as provided in this act. Except as otherwise provided in this act, a political party , incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens may designate not more than 2 challengers to serve in a precinct at any 1 time. A political party , incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens may designate not more than 1 challenger to serve at each counting board.

((3) Do NOT strike this language as the bill proposes. A challenger may be designated to serve in more than 1 precinct. The political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens shall indicate which precincts the challenger will serve when designating challengers under subsection (1). If more than 1 challenger of a political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens

Amend Sec. 730 to include bolded text:

Sec. 730a. (1) If a political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens seeks to designate challengers at an election, that political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens  must, not less than 3 days before the election, provide election challenger training for those individuals seeking to be election challengers for that political party. The election challenger training for the individuals seeking to be election challengers must include the comprehensive training curriculum established by the secretary of state under the oversight of the legislature under section 31(1)(o) regarding the powers, rights, and duties of election challengers.

(2) Upon completion of the election challenger training under subsection (1), the individual seeking to be an election challenger must sign and submit to the political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens that conducted the election challenger training an affidavit attesting that the individual attended the election challenger training. The election challenger training for an individual is valid for 3 years from the date the signed affidavit is submitted to and filed with the political party that conducted the election challenger training.

(3) A political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens must retain a signed affidavit as described in subsection (2) for not less than 3 years.

(4) The Legislature shall help create or have review and signoff authority on the training curriculum as submitted by the Secretary of State

(5) Election training materials and manuals shall be subject to Legislature review. 

(6) All election training sessions shall be video and audio recorded and published online for public review.  

SB 293. Sen. Outman. Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for certain Michigan election law violations dealing with challengers; repeal.
PIME recommends adding the noted language to specify criminal penalties for ballot harvesting.
HB 4132. Rep. Wendzel. Elections; offenses; certain felonies involving absent voter ballot applications; create.

PIME supports in #5 the proposed addition, “A person who knowingly submits an absent voter ballot application containing false information or a forged signature is guilty of a felony.”

PIME recommends allowing election officials more time to verify absentee ballots. We recommend adding language as noted below to prevent ballot harvesting: 

Change: (2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (1) and subject to section 761(3), at any time during the 75 days before an election, but not later than 8 p.m. on the day of 10 days before an election, an elector may apply for an absent voter ballot. The elector shall apply in person or by mail with the clerk of the township, city, or village in which the voter is registered. The clerk of a city or township shall not send by first-class mail an absent voter ballot to an elector after 5 p.m. on the Friday immediately before the election. Except as otherwise provided in section 761(2), the clerk of a city or township shall notissue an absent voter ballot to a registered elector in that city or township after 4 p.m. on the day 10 days before before the election.

Add 8 (12) An individual or organization other than a family member, household member, or caregiver of the voter who collects a voters’ mail-in ballot is guilty of a felony.

HB 4133. Rep. Bollin. Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for certain Michigan election law violations dealing with absent voter ballot applications; provide for.

PIME supports with the addition of language as recommended regarding HB 4132

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Andrea Smith, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance


Kathy McClinchey, Krysten Smith, and Alex Weddon testify before the House Elections and Ethics Committee, Oct. 26.

https://www.house.mi.gov/SharedVideo/PlayVideoArchive.html?video=ELEC-101921.mp4
Kathy McClinchey of Jackson County testifies (56:03) on Sen. LaSata’s House Bill 302 to modify the voter registration application to include a claim of one—and only one—residence for voting rights. PIME supports this bill and recommends adding requirements for legal evidence of citizenship and language to make perjury a felony punishable with up to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
https://www.house.mi.gov/SharedVideo/PlayVideoArchive.html?video=ELEC-101921.mp4
Krysten Smith of of Washtenaw County  testifies (47:41) in support of Rep. Cally’s House Bill 5268. The bill prohibits the secretary of state and county, city, and township clerks from sending absent voter ballot applications unless the electors first apply for them. 
https://www.house.mi.gov/SharedVideo/PlayVideoArchive.html?video=ELEC-101921.mp4
 
Alex Weddon of Washtenaw County testifies (45:24) on PIME’s behalf in support of House Bill 5335. If enacted into law, Representative Damoose’s bill would require election challengers to be trained and receive badges to identify them as challengers. The badges would keep individual names and party affiliations anonymous in order to protect challengers from harassment. The bill calls for better recordkeeping in the pollbooks during elections, so any challenges would have to be logged and followed up with documentation as to the clerk’s resolutions. 
https://misenate.viebit.com/player.php?hash=T2MYCfSHQSKJ
 
Patrice Johnson speaks (17:14) in support of the substitute bill for Senator Daley’s SB 308. PIME supports this important legislation, designed to stop Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson from instituting signature verification rules that would obliterate the last bastion against fraud in absentee balloting in Michigan.

PIME supporter Namrata Carolan comments on proposed bill changes before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, Sept. 21

James Johnson, PIME Executive member, delivers PIME’s position on bills before the House Elections and Ethics Committee, Sept. 1, 2021
https://storage033-vod.viebit.com/vb_misenate/mp4:MISenate3_210901-135018.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wowzaplaystart=254000&wowzaplayduration=3812000&src=3557
PIME Chair Patrice Johnson testifies before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, Sept. 28. https://www.house.mi.gov/SharedVideo/PlayVideoArchive.html?video=ELEC-092821.mp4
Johnson in 31:15

Written Statement: 

Senate Hearing, Dec. 8, 2021

Presenter: Alex Weddon Executive Committee Member
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections Website: https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgemail: purintegrityforme@gmail.com In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance

Before the Senate Committee on Elections. 
Senator Ruth Johnson, Chair
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, 2:00 p.m., 
Room 1300, Binsfeld Office Building, 201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933 
Heather Dorbeck, Committee Clerk, (517) 373-5323, OfcSCC@senate.michigan.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 500 supporters, located primarily in Ingham, Eaton, Livingston, Washtenaw, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse. 

We appreciate Senator Ruth Johnson’s hard work and expertise in submitting SB 279 for hearing, and we support her efforts at achieving maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

SB 279, Sen. Johnson, Elections; absent voters; absent voter counting boards; modify, and revise number of challengers allowed under certain circumstances.

PIME’s position:

PIME SUPPORTS the amendments as proposed in SB 279. We applaud the presence of poll challengers as described in SB 279 and the bill’s effort to provide transparency and checks and balances.

PIME OPPOSES any agreements to combine an absent voter counting board beyond the precinct level. Combining absent voter counting boards increases the incentive for and risk of election fraud. 

PIME RECOMMENDS AND WOULD SUPPORT

  1. An amendment to eliminate agreements that form any combined absent voter counting board. 
  2. Basing the number of election challengers at an absentee voter counting board on the size of a participating municipality (Johnson). We suggest allowing an additional challenger for every 1,000, instead of 2,999, registered voters represented by a counting board. 
  3. Challengers should be present at all times throughout every step in the handling processes of absentee ballots, to include, but not limited to, the arrival of ballots at the early voting center and in the clerk’s office, through the opening and processing and tabulation of results. Because the ‘chain of custody’ for absentee ballots is currently dangerously loose, it is critical that ID confirmation, and not just signatures, is performed before a clerk surrenders a ballot for processing and tabulation.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
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Written Statement: 

Senate Hearing, Nov. 10, 2021

Presenter: James Johnson
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections
 Website: https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgemail: purintegrityforme@gmail.com 
In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Senate Committee on Elections. Senator Ruth Johnson, ChairWednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, 2:00 p.m., 
Room 1300, Binsfeld Office Building, 201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933 Heather Dorbeck, Committee Clerk, (517) 373-5323, OfcSCC@senate.michigan.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 500 supporters, located primarily in Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission of helping restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse. 

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to assist them in achieving maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

SB 273. Sen. Johnson. Elections; election officials; regulation of absent voter ballot drop boxes; provide for.

SB 278. Sen. MacDonald. Elections; absent voters; collection procedures for absent voter ballots deposited in an absent voter ballot drop box; modify.

PIME OPPOSES SB 273 and 278 because we oppose drop boxes:

Reasons for opposition: All drop-off boxes, other than those within the clerk’s office, should be eliminated. Drop boxes cannot be secured, and no amount of video surveillance is going to make them secure. Drop boxes incentivize vote fraud. They are the preferred vehicle for ballot harvesting. Violations of security measures are unlikely to be enforced.After-the-fact review of surveillance footage will likely lead to no arrests or convictions, so lawbreakers, likely to receive no more than a slap on the wrist, are undeterred. Once in the box, harvested ballots will not be removed. Instead, they enter the vote-processing stream and will likely be counted. 

Why have absentee ballot drop boxes at all? A voter can more easily use the US Postal Service or return the ballot to the clerk’s office. If the voter is unable, the voter is allowed to have a family or household member return the ballot on the voter’s behalf. 

Any slight convenience of a drop-off box is more than offset by the weak link it creates in the chain of custody of absentee ballots. SB 278, Subsection 6, states, “When an individual who is authorized under subsection (5) collects absent voter ballots from an absent voter ballot drop box, that individual must….” This bill would allow one person, alone, to collect ballots from drop-off boxes. This is a blatant breach to the system of checks and balances. If one person were granted unmonitored access to ballots at a polling site, we all would be outraged. Where are the poll inspectors? Where are the watchers? Where are the poll challengers?

From the proposed changes, Senators Johnson and MacDonald are clearly trying to make drop-boxes more secure. But the concept of drop boxes is flawed. They punch holes in the boat of election integrity, and no amount of bailing is going to keep that watercraft from leaking and sinking. Granted, a clerk may be inconvenienced by a voter dropping of an absentee ballot, but that goes with the job.

Recommended amendments: If the legislature decides to ignore these objections and fails to eliminate drop-off boxes, PIME recommends the following amendments to SB 0273 and SB 0278: 

  • If any drop-off box at an early voting site is left accessible for the return of ballots outside of early voting hours, the supervisor shall be subject to a civil penalty of $25,000. 
  • Secure drop boxes will be placed only within the main office and visible to the local clerk during work hours.
  • The boxes will be placed in a well-lit area and kept under video surveillance that will be reviewed and acted on daily.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
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Written Statement: House Hearing, Nov. 9, 2021

Presenters:  Alex Weddon, Kathy McClinchey, and Patrice Johnson 
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgpurintegrityforme@gmail.com 
In support:Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Michigan House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, USPS report Representative Ann Bollin, Chair 
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, 12:00 p.m., 
Room 326, House Office Building, Lansing, MI  Committee Clerk, Amy Rostkowycz, (517) 373-1260, arostkowycz@house.mi.gov 

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 500 supporters, located across the state and primarily in Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Issue:

From PIME supporter Anne Hill:

In the Fall of 2020, Michigan State University had closed most of its dormitories. No one was living there, and the post office would not be able to deliver applications for ballots or actual ballots. However, as the attached spreadsheet shows, a sampling of less than half of the closed dormitories shows absentee (ABS) voters with addresses at these closed dorms. 

Based on the East Lansing City Clerk’s FOIA’d file of who voted in East Lansing, 51 of these students received applications and ballots even though they were not living there. 

One student voter lists a home residence in Canada. 

As a point of note, the less than 50 percent sampling assumes that in each of the open dorm halls had a 100% accuracy rate in the Qualified Voter File, but many people in the analyzed dorms had graduated several years ago and moved away, yet they still show on the QVF. Several show that they are still voting in person and absentee.  

Questions:

  1. What security measures are in place to ensure that valid absent ballot applications as submitted via the mail originate from the actual, registered voter?
  • Regulations prevent the USPS from delivering mail to unnamed recipients on post office boxes. What are the security measures when delivering to a multi-resident facility like a dorm? 
  • Are there any security measures to prevent mail delivery of ballot applications and ballots to students who no longer reside in dorms? 
  • Did the USPS deliver ballot applications and ballots to deceased and no-longer-current post-office box holders? 
  • Legislators and SOS: What QVF procedures are in place to remove graduate, dropout, or moved students from campus voter rolls?

Issue:

From PIME supporter Anne Hill:

Fifty (50) registered voters claim to live on Cherry Lane, a street demolished over 10 years ago when a new development was built. There is no street in East Lansing named Cherry Lane. However, of the 50 people that are on the Qualified Voter File as living there, 15 of them voted absentee in the Nov. 3 General Election. 

The clerk told Anne Hill that these voters could be military. But the ages of these voters indicate they cannot be military. Based on their years of birth, only one of these voters was under the age of 26. Of the remaining 14 voters, 1 was in his 30s, 2 were in their late 40s, 4 were in their 50s, 5 were in their 60s, and 2 were in their 70s. In total, half were past the military’s mandatory retirement age of 64. 

(To see all QVF persons with a Cherry Lane address, just unfilter column B.) 

Questions:

  1. Some of the 50 voters listed as living on the non-existent Cherry Lane have no other address on the QVF, so how is it the applications and ballots were delivered?
  • How many absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots were delivered to nonexistent streets and to people who no longer reside at those addresses?

Issue

A common complaint is that absent voter ballot applications and ballots were delivered to deceased registered voters and to voters who had relocated in and out of state. We understand that mail is delivered to rural mailboxes based on the address, not based on the name of the addressee. 

Alex Weddon’s daughter had moved out of state more than eight years ago, yet she received an absent ballot application. The United States Post Office’s National Change of Address database would have shown she was not residing at this address and had changed her address to California. 

PIME supporter Larry Angus wrote, “My cousin Lori who lives in South Carolina for about 10 years got a ballot [app] in the mail from [SOS] Benson in the last presidential election. How can this be? Lori could have voted twice in the 2020 election, and no one would have known. This is wrong. Students attending Michigan State who live in other states could also have voted twice in the election. Did Peters (our national senator) win his election because of this double voting?”

Questions:

  1. Why weren’t these ballot applications marked as undeliverable and returned to the secretary of state?
  2. How many ballot applications were delivered to households in which children or prior residents no longer lived there? 
  3. How many applications for ballots and ballots were delivered to fraternities and sororities and dormitories and hotels and apartments?
  4. How many ballot applications were forwarded to people who had relocated out of state or elsewhere within the state?
  5. How many students and multi-resident homeowners were delivered absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots in more than one state?
  6. How many ballots were delivered to clerks from nonexistent, nonresident, and non-citizen persons?

Issue

From PIME supporter Susan Kokinda:

“I own a rental property at 8908 Manor, Allen Park, MI 48101. Last year, the tenants received an absentee ballot application for the former owner, Daniel Flynn. Mr. Flynn moved to Florida in 2017 and passed away prior to 2020.” 

Questions:

  1. Why wasn’t this ballot application marked undeliverable and returned to the secretary of state?
  2. How is chain of custody preserved throughout mailing processes?
  3. How many ballot applications and ballots were delivered to deceased voters? 
  4. How many applications for ballots and ballots were delivered to incorrect locations where voters no longer resided?
  5. How many students and multi-resident homeowners were delivered absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots in more than one in-state or out-state location?
  6. How many ballots were delivered to clerks from deceased, nonresident, and non-citizen persons?

Issues

From Senator Ruth Johnson’s office Jan. 5, 2021: 

    “When I was Secretary of State I removed 1 in 6 names on the Qualified Voter File using a variety of techniques to remove individuals who were deceased, moved out-of-state, or non-citizens. But, I wasn’t using this as a mailing list as our current Secretary of State who has failed to even purge the known and eligible records of individuals who are likely not qualified to vote in our state prior to sending her May mailing.”

Sen. Johnson’s letter cites: 

  1. Specific allegations from affidavits and testimony (e.g. sequential ballots appearing with the same signature all from Goddard Street).
  2. Groups encouraging college students to register and vote in Michigan even if they maintain primary residence and may vote in another state.
  3. Ensuring through appropriate legislative oversight that the 500,000+ returned absentee ballot applications are handled appropriately to put these records in the Qualified Voter File into the countdown process if appropriate, so they may be removed after two federal election cycles if these individuals no longer reside at the registered address.

“I have asked for subpoena power several times going back to the spring of 2020 for the Elections Committee to investigate many actions and changes made by Michigan’s current Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson which I feel threaten the integrity of our elections, including:

1. Failing to purge records identified through interstate crosscheck as likely no longer eligible to vote in Michigan which have gone through two federal election cycles without activity.

2. Creating an online absentee ballot application which is not signed by a voter as required by law.

3. Instructing clerks to issue absentee ballots to individuals flagged in the QVF to be verified for reasons such as surrendering their license to another state based on a signature comparison alone with no further inquiry to determine the eligibility of the voter.

PIME Recommendations

  1. The secretary of state currently allows online registration to vote. This needs to stop. It is in violation of Michigan statutes that require actual, handwritten signatures. Online voter registration makes it possible for a person to register and vote without ever being seen by an election official. No one, least of all the US Postal Service, can ensure safe and secure elections under these circumstances.
  2. Absent voter ballot applications via mail should contain a photocopy of a valid and current state identification. These applications should require an individual’s actual signature, which is checked against the QVF. The clerk needs these tools to verify identity. The Post Office is not designed or structured to provide secure delivery of ballot applications or ballots. 
  3. Systems need to be put into place to enable a clerk to run specified cross checks. Absent ballot applications on college campuses and elsewhere should be cross-checked for citizenship and to eliminate potential vote duplication in the student’s home state of residence. 
  4. The citizenship of voter registrants appears to be insufficient. Lacking proper documentation, it is unacceptable for people simply to sign and “attest” to citizenship. Attestation is not verification. The adage trust but verifyshould be the law when it comes to citizens registering to vote.  
  5. Only the local clerk should be allowed to circulate applications for absentee ballots.
  6. A complete forensic audit of the 2020 election, and forensic audits of all future elections are required to identify and remedy additional risks to vote integrity.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for MichiganElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance

Attachments: 

  1. 11.08.2021 People who should not have received ABS ballot apps.xlsx
  2. 11.08.2021_Cherry_People who should not have received ABS ballot apps.xlsx
  3. Sen. Ruth Johnson’s memo Jan. 5, 2021
  4. USPS hearing PIME supporter statements Nov. 8, 2021

Written Statement: House Hearing, Oct. 26, 2021

Presenters: Krysten Smith, Kathy McClinchey, and Alex Weddon
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgpurintegrityforme@gmail.com,  
In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Michigan House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, 
Representative Ann Bollin, Chair
Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, 12:00 p.m., 
Room 326, House Office Building, Lansing, MI Committee Clerk, Amy Rostkowycz, (517) 373-1260, arostkowycz@house.mi.gov 

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 450 supporters, located primarily in Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections.

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

HB 4967 (Rep. Paquette)Elections; ballots; security features on election ballots; require.
HB 5253 (Rep. Lightner)Elections; offenses; accepting a gift of money or goods from a nongovernmental entity for the purposes of obtaining election-related equipment; prohibit.
HB 5254 (Rep. Lightner)Public employees and officers; state; accepting a gift of money or goods from a nongovernmental entity; prohibit.
  1. HB 4967 (Rep. Paquette) Elections; ballots; security features on election ballots; require.

PIME Position: Support with recommendations

Reasoning: PIME recommends legislating protections from lessons learned from the Arizona forensic audit: 

  1. Consider legislation that would require that paper stocks utilized on election day conform to manufacturer recommendations to ensure that the paper that has been tested in the device is what is actually utilized to cast votes. 
  2. Consider legislation that requires, for easy auditing of the system, batches of ballots to be clearly labeled, separated from each other in a manner in which they cannot easily mix together or be easily connected to the batches already run through the tabulation equipment. 
  3. Consider legislation to publish ballot images and the Cast Vote Record artifacts from an election within a few days of the results being certified for increased transparency and accountability in the election process.
  4. Consider legislation to create an election audit department in charge of regularly conducting audits on a rotating basis across all counties after elections.
  5. Consider legislation to require all ballots be cast on paper by hand utilizing paper with security features such as watermarks or similar technology; with a detailed accounting of what paper(s) and quantities were utilized in any given election cycle. 
  6. Consider legislation to ensure that mail-in voting incorporates an objective standard of verification for early voter identification, similar to the ID requirements required for in-person voting.

Also, PIME recommends to: 

  • Consider legislation to require all ballots to bear a certified, military-grade and secure watermark. 
  • Consider legislation to render invalid any ballot containing a quick response (QR) code, bar code, or otherwise computer-readable symbol, mark, or imprint (visible or invisible to the human eye). 
  • Consider legislation to remove all quick response (QR) codes, bar codes, or otherwise computer-interpretable symbols, marks, or imprints from all ballots and voter assisted terminals (VATs).
  • Consider legislation to penalize purposely inhibiting a legislative investigation or an officially sanctioned audit of an election.
  • HB 5253 (Rep. Lightner) Elections; offenses; accepting a gift of money or goods from a nongovernmental entity for the purposes of obtaining election-related equipment; prohibit.

PIME Position: Support. Recommend amendment. 

Recommendation: Consider adding language as adapted from North Dakota’s enacted HB 1256: “State and political subdivisions may not solicit, accept, or use any grants, funds, donations or remuneration of any sort from a private person, outside group, or nongovernmental entity for elections operations or administration.” 

  • HB 5254 (Rep. Lightner) Public employees and officers; state; accepting a gift of money or goods from a nongovernmental entity; prohibit.


PIME Position: Support with amendments. 

Recommendation: Please consider adding the following language:

(5) The secretary of state, its offices, or agents shall not accept a gift of money or goods from a nongovernmental entity.

“State and political subdivisions may not solicit, accept, or use any grants, funds, donations or remuneration of any sort from a private person, outside group, or nongovernmental entity for elections operations or administration.” (adapted from North Dakota’s enacted HB 1256)

Reasoning. Language is necessary to close any potential gaps in the legislative parameters. 

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
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Written Statement: 

Senate Hearing, Oct. 20, 2021

Presenter: Patrice Johnson
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgpurintegrityforme@gmail.com
 In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Senate Committee on Elections. Senator Ruth Johnson, Chair
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, 2:00 p.m., 
Room 1300, Binsfeld Office Building, 201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933 Heather Dorbeck, Committee Clerk, (517) 373-5323, OfcSCC@senate.michigan.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 450 supporters, located primarily in Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. 

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to assist them in achieving maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

1. SB 308, Sen. Daley, Elections; election officials; signature verification training for clerks and election inspectors; require, and require the secretary of state to promulgate rules regarding an objective signature verification process.

PIME Position: Strong support. 

ReasonsThis is an excellent bill. Verifying signatures on absentee ballots is one of the last bastions remaining to determine voter authenticity on absentee ballots. Concrete and objective standards to prevent abuse must be put in place and enforced with consistency if election integrity and voter confidence are to be restored and maintained.

For clerks to do their jobs, they must receive effective training and demonstrate mastery of the materials. 

No amount of training will succeed, however, if the guidelines for signature verification are unclear or muddled. Clerks require an objective, actionable signature verification process in order to do their jobs. 

Signature verification must be focused solely on objective, usable criteria. It must not include presumptions of validity. The secretary of state is in violation of Michigan statutes to issue guidance for a signature to be accepted if it contains “any redeeming qualities.” Clerks must not be put in the untenable position of having to consider hypothetical or circumstantial factors like age or hurriedness that could affect a voter’s handwriting. 

This bill takes a substantive step forward in restoring and preserving election integrity.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
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Written Statement: House Hearing, Oct. 19, 2021

Presenters: Kathy McClinchey, Krysten Smith, and Alex Weddon
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgpurintegrityforme@gmail.com
In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Michigan House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, Representative Ann Bollin, Chair
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, 12:00 p.m., 
Room 326, House Office Building, Lansing, MI Committee Clerk, Amy Rostkowycz, (517) 373-1260, arostkowycz@house.mi.gov 

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 450 supporters, located primarily in Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. 

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

1. HB 5268 (Rep. Calley, R) Elections; absent voters; sending unsolicited absent voter ballot applications; prohibit.

PIME Position: Support with amendments. Prohibit both the secretary of state and the county clerk from providing absent voter applications. Remove support for ‘permanent absentee’ list.

(10) Each county, city, and township clerk is prohibited from sending an absent voter ballot application to an elector unless the elector applies for an absent voter ballot as provided under subsection (1) or (2) or unless the elector has requested to be placed on a permanent absent voter application list maintained by a city or township clerk. The secretary of state, an assistants to the secretary of state, county clerks, and assistants to the county clerks is are prohibited from sending an absent voter ballot application to an elector.

  • SB 302 (Sen. LaSata) Elections; registration; voter registration application; modify to include a claim of 1 residence for voting rights.

PIME Position: Support with amendments.

AMEND SB 0302 so that registrations from non-citizens or nonresidents will be invalidated. AMEND as follows: Sec. 495. The registration application must contain all of the following:

(d) The date of birth and birth certificate of the elector.

(f) A statement that the elector is a citizen of the United States. If the birth certificate does not verify citizenship, the applicant will provide legal evidence of such citizenship.

(g) A statement and legal evidence that the elector is at the time of completing the affidavit, or will be on the date of the next election, not less than 18 years of age.

(h) A statement and legal evidence that the elector has or will have lived in this state not less than 30 days before the next election.

(i) A statement and legal evidence that the elector has or will have established his or her residence in the township or city in which the elector is applying for registration not less than 30 days before the next election.

(j) A statement and legal evidence that the elector is or will be a qualified elector of the township or city on the date of the next election.

(f) A statement that the elector is a citizen of the United States. If the birth certificate does not verify citizenship, the applicant will provide legal evidence of such citizenship.

(q) A signed acknowledgement by the applicant that the applicant recognizes that perjury on any of the above statements is a felony punishable by up to one year in jail and $10,000 fine.

  • HB 5335 (Rep. Damoose) Elections; challengers; requirements for election challengers; provide for.


PIME Position: Support.  

Reasons: Challengers must be trained, identifiable, and protected from harassment. Documentation of their challenges must be noted in the pollbook in order to preserve a record of events. This is an excellent bill

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
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Written Statement: House Hearing, Oct. 5, 2021

Presenter: Patrice Johnson
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgpurintegrityforme@gmail.com,  
In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Michigan House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, 
Representative Ann Bollin, Chair
Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, 12:00 p.m., 
Room 326, House Office Building, Lansing, MI Committee Clerk, Amy Rostkowycz, (517) 373-1260, arostkowycz@house.mi.gov 

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 375 supporters, located primarily in Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections.

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. Thank you also to the House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics and to its chair, Representative Ann Bollin.

PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, and nonpartisan political movement. We welcome all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions

Agenda:

  1. HB 5268 (Rep. Calley, R) Elections; absent voters; sending unsolicited absent voter ballot applications; prohibit.

PIME Position: Recommend to AMEND to prohibit both the county clerk and secretary of state from providing absent voter applications. Remove language in the bill that supports ‘permanent absentee’ list.

(10) Each county, city, and township clerk is prohibited from sending an absent voter ballot application to an elector unless the elector applies for an absent voter ballot as provided under subsection (1) or (2) or unless the elector has requested to be placed on a permanent absent voter application list maintained by a city or township clerkThe secretary of state, assistants to and agents of the secretary of state, county clerks, and assistants to agents of county clerks is are prohibited from sending an absent voter ballot application to an elector.

  • 3. HB 5288 (Rep. Beeler, R) Elections; absent voters; use of a digital or electronic signature to sign an absent voter ballot application; prohibit.

PIME Position: Support with amendment

AMEND: Recommend adding in person to the text and defining ‘physical’ to pertain exclusively to the living and breathing registered voter. The term, physical, shall exclude the use of an autopen using a regular ink pen to duplicate signatures, a printer that physically applies ink to paper, or any signatory method or any signatory method except that of the individual, in-person voter applying his or her mark.

4) An applicant for an absent voter ballot shall must physically sign the application in personAn applicant for an absent voter ballot is not authorized to use a digital or electronic signature to sign the application. The secretary of state, a county, city, or township clerk, an organization, and any individual employed by, contracted by, or associated with an organization, is not authorized to provide an online absent voter ballot application that does not require the applicant to physically sign the application in person. Subject to section 761(2), a clerk or assistant clerk shall not deliver an absent voter ballot to an applicant who does not physically and in person sign the application.

The term ‘physical’ pertains exclusively to the living and breathing registered voter and excludes the use of an autopen utilizing a regular ink pen to duplicate signatures, a printer that physically applies ink to paper, or any signatory method except that of the individual, in-person voter applying his or her mark. 

  • SB 212 (Sen. Johnson) Elections; candidates; affidavit of identity; expand, and clarify requirements.

PIME Position: Support

  • HB 4826 (Rep. Wendzel) Elections; precinct delegates; deadline for a precinct delegate to file as a write-in candidate; modify.

PIME Position: Support

  • SB 302 (Sen. LaSata) Elections; registration; voter registration application; modify to include a claim of 1 residence for voting rights.

AMEND SB 0302 so that registrations from non-citizens or nonresidents will be invalidated. AMEND as follows: Sec. 495. The registration application must contain all of the following:

(d) The date of birth and birth certificate of the elector.

(f) A statement that the elector is a citizen of the United States. If the birth certificate does not verify citizenship, the applicant will provide legal evidence of such citizenship.

(g) A statement and legal evidence that the elector is at the time of completing the affidavit, or will be on the date of the next election, not less than 18 years of age.

(h) A statement and legal evidence that the elector has or will have lived in this state not less than 30 days before the next election.

(i) A statement and legal evidence that the elector has or will have established his or her residence in the township or city in which the elector is applying for registration not less than 30 days before the next election.

(j) A statement and legal evidence that the elector is or will be a qualified elector of the township or city on the date of the next election.

(f) A statement that the elector is a citizen of the United States. If the birth certificate does not verify citizenship, the applicant will provide legal evidence of such citizenship.

(q) A signed acknowledgement by the applicant that the applicant recognizes that perjury on any of the above statements is punishable by felony with one year in jail and $10,000 fine.

Written Statement: Senate Hearing, Sept. 29, 2021

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgpurintegrityforme@gmail.com,  

In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Michigan Senate Committee on Elections, Senator Ruth Johnson, Chair
Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, 2:00 p.m., 
Binsfield Office Building, 201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933
Heather Dorbeck, Committee Clerk, (517) 373-5323 OfcSCC@senate.michigan.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 350 supporters, located primarily in Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. 

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections wishes to express appreciation to senators and representatives for introducing legislation and hearing public comment on bills intended to make our elections fairer and freer. Thank you also to the Senate Committee on Elections Chair Senator Ruth Johnson.

Agenda:


1. HB 4282, Rep. Calley, Elections; candidates; candidate filing fee in lieu of nominating petitions for the office of state senator or state representative; make nonrefundable.


PIME Position: Support. 

2. HB 4283, Rep. Sabo, Elections; candidates; candidate filing fee in lieu of nominating petitions for the office of county commissioner; make nonrefundable.

PIME Position: Support

3. HB 4284, Rep. Koleszar R, Elections; candidates; candidate filing fee in lieu of nominating petitions for county offices; make nonrefundable.

PIME Position: Support

4. HB 4285, Rep. Bollin, Elections; candidates; candidate filing fee in lieu of nominating petitions for township offices; make nonrefundable.

PIME Position: Support

5. HB 4305, Rep. Johnson, Campaign finance; campaign practices; requirement to report the number of people in attendance at a campaign fundraiser; eliminate.

PIME Position: Support. However, considering the speed with which electronic finances move and the ability to anonymize donors, setting minimal threshold amounts for reporting donations appears to be a futile manner for defraying abuse. In milliseconds, millions of dollars from anonymous sources, foreign and domestic, may transfer to candidates and shell companies in miniscule increments, remaining virtually undetectable in isolation. Therefore, better systems, algorithms, and regulatory requirements for identifying, monitoring, and prosecuting the influx of illegal foreign transfers, taken in total, are needed. 

Perhaps logs of all electronic transactions related to a candidate should be required for reporting over a set period of time prior to a candidate’s election and quarterly thereafter while the official holds office. 

6. HB 4528, Rep. Posthumus, Elections; challengers; training requirements for election challengers; provide for.

PIME Position: Support

7. HB 4837, Rep. Lightner (R), Elections; qualified voter file; access to qualified voter file by organizations and nonaccredited election officials; prohibit.

PIME Position: Support 

8. HB 4838, Rep. Green, Elections; voting equipment; prohibiting connection of the electronic voting system and electronic poll book to the internet on election day; provide for.

PIME Position: Support with recommended addition.

PIME recommends prohibiting vote tabulator machines, software, and related parts and equipment from access to any sort of network. Further, the machines, software, and related parts and equipment of all vote tabulators should be prohibited from possessing the capabilities to connect to a network of any sort, including but not limited to wireless or cellular communications with the internet, a local area network, or any form of intranet.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance

Written Statement: House Hearing, Sept. 28, 2021

Presenter: Patrice Johnson
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections 
https://pureintegritymichiganelections.orgpurintegrityforme@gmail.com,  
In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Before the Michigan House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, Representative Ann Bollin, ChairTuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, 12:00 p.m., 
Room 326, House Office Building, Lansing, MI Committee Clerk, Amy Rostkowycz, (517) 373-1260, arostkowycz@house.mi.gov 

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 350 supporters, located primarily in Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission, to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. 

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is a peaceful, issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections wishes to express appreciation to representatives Koleszar and Slagh, and Senator Johnson for introducing legislation intended to make our elections more fair and free. Thank you also to the House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics and to its chair, Representative Ann Bollin.

Agenda:

 
1. HB 5258 (Rep. Koleszar, D) Elections; candidates; transmission of proof copies of the ballot to candidates; allow clerks to email.


PIME Position: No position. 

2. HB 5252 revised. (Rep. Slagh, R) Elections; ballot proposals; secretary of state to post on the departments website a summary of and the date a ballot petition is received; require.

PIME Position: Support with amendment

Rationale for amendment: In order to provide for greater transparency and to prevent incomplete, unclear, or misleading summaries, each bill, petition, or citizen-initiated legislation that is summarized on the secretary of state’s website should also be posted on the SOS’s website in its entirety.

AMEND Section 475 (1): In addition, upon the filing of a petition under this chapter, the secretary of state shall immediately post on the department of state’s website a summary [RECOMMEND TO ADD: and the complete text] of the proposed amendment or question proposed and the date the petition was filed with the secretary of state.

3. SB 212 (Sen. Johnson) Elections; candidates; affidavit of identity; expand, and clarify requirements.

PIME Position: Support

4. SB 311 (Sen. Johnson) Elections; absent voters; electronic return of absentee ballots by military voters using Department of Defense Common Access Cards; allow.

PIME Position: Oppose.

Rationale

Risk of creep. Need to place constraints on the bill to strictly prohibit creep of scope and loosening of security. As evidence, the Adam Reames, Legislative Policy Director fo the Secretary of State, indicated support for the bill and recommended expanding from allowing military service members using Common Access Cards solely to other overseas voters who would not have access to CAC cards. Of note, spouses and dependents are not stationed on inaccessible submarines, ships and war zones. They can well use standard procedures allowed under current statute. 

The bipartisan 2005 Carter-Baker commission identified the risk of vote fraud with mail-in ballots. Unless strictly prohibited, the pressure to open the door to electronic balloting from the confines of military use of CAC to vote could create an exponential increase in the risk of fraud.

  1. Beware ambiguous definition of overseas voters. This bill should be amended to define “overseas voters” as legal citizens employed in the military or in the employ of a government agency.
  • Avoid undermining identity verification. This bill should take care to avoid circumventing the limited identity verification methods that currently apply to all voters. (See PIME’s recommendations for standards as defined in its rationale for opposing S8 below.)
  • How to prevent multiple registrations? Our current voter registration system is not set up to ensure that voters can register in only one precinct. Given this issue, Sec. 759a(3)raises the question: How to ensure overseas non-military voters register to vote in one and only one precinct?
  • Local control. Only city, village, and township clerks should be sending out absentee ballots. 
  • Insulation from federal interference. If possible, the bill should preempt any future federal changes to electronic balloting or loosening of signature verification. 

Recommended changes to the SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 31 include but are not limited to the following:

Sec. 759a.(2) Upon the request of an absent uniformed services voter or an overseas voter, the clerk of a [RECOMMEND TO DELETE: county,] city, township, or village shall electronically transmit a blank voter registration application or blank absent voter ballot application to the voter. The clerk of a [RECOMMEND TO DELETEcounty,] city, township, or village shall accept a completed voter registration application or completed absent voter ballot application electronically transmitted by an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter. 

(3) [HOW TO ENSURE AND VERIFY THAT THIS CITIZEN REGISTERS TO VOTE IN ONE AND ONLY ONE PRECINCT? A spouse or dependent of an overseas voter who is a citizen of the United States, is accompanying that overseas voter, and is not a qualified and registered elector anywhere else in the United States, may apply for an absent voter ballot even though the spouse or dependent is not a qualified elector of a city or township of this state.]

(4) Upon receipt of an application for an absent voter ballot under this section that complies with this act, [RECOMMEND TO DELETE: a county,] city, village, or township clerk shall forward to the applicant the absent voter ballots requested, the forms necessary for registration, and instructions for completing the forms.

(5) [RECOMMEND TO DELETE: county,] city, township, or village clerk shall electronically transmit….

(7) Each [RECOMMEND TO DELETE: county,] city, township, or village clerk shall employ the prescribed electronic ballot formats to fulfill an absent voter ballot request received from an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter who wishes to receive his or her absent voter ballot through an electronic transmission. 

(10) An absent uniformed services voter or an overseas voter who submits an absent voter ballot application is eligible to vote as an absent voter in any local, state, or federal election occurring in the calendar year in which the election is held for that ballot requested if the absent voter ballot application is received by the county, city, village, or township clerk [RECOMMEND TO ADD: of the voter’s single US residence of record] not later than 2 p.m. of the Saturday before the election. 

(13) An absent uniformed services voter or an overseas voter may use the [RECOMMEND TO ADD: paper,] federal write-in absentee ballot, in accordance with the provisions of the uniformed and overseas citizens absentee voting act, at a regular election or special election to vote for a local, state, or federal office or on a ballot question. An Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, anAn absent uniformed services voter or an overseas voter who uses the [ADD: paper] federal write-in absentee ballot shall return his or her voted federal write-in absentee ballot by mail to the appropriate clerk. 

5. SB 8 (Sen. Wojno, D) Elections; absent voters; definition of United States Department of Defense verified electronic signature; provide for.

PIME Position: Amend.

Rationale: As explained in the Maricopa County, Arizona, forensic audit, banking systems use a 27-point signature verification process, and absent ballot signatures should be subject to the same verification standards. In fact, Arizona law requires that absent ballot envelopes will be verified according to these standards. Had these standards been adhered to during the 2020 election, bank-level signature verification would have protected the integrity and helped ensure the authenticity of absent voter ballots.

The 27-point verification, banking-level process, should be instituted in Michigan elections and protected with rigor. (See Pattern Recognition Classification of Early Voting Ballot (EVB) Return Envelope Images for Signature Presence Detection: An Engineering Systems Approach to Identify Anomalies to Advance the Integrity of U.S. Election Processes by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, MIT PhD,  https://c692f527-da75-4c86-b5d1-8b3d5d4d5b43.filesusr.com/ugd/2f3470_05deb65815ab4d4b83938d71bc53459b.pdf)

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
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Namrata Carolan testifies on behalf of Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections on Sept. 21, 2021

Written Statement: House Hearing, Sept. 21, 2021

Presenter: Namrata Carolan 

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections

https://pureintegritymichiganelections.org,

purintegrityforme@gmail.com, In support: Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance

Before the Michigan House Standing Committee on Elections and Ethics, 

Representative Ann Bollin, Chair

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, 12:00 p.m., 
Room 326, House Office Building, Lansing, MI Committee Clerk, Amy Rostkowycz, (517) 373-1260, arostkowycz@house.mi.gov

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of more than 300 supporters, located primarily in Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission, which is to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. 

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is an issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

First, supporters of Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections wish to express their appreciation to representatives Calley, Slagh, Koleszar, and Beeler for introducing sound legislation designed to make our elections more efficient, fair, and free. 

Agenda:

 
1. HB 5258 (Rep. Koleszar, D) Elections; candidates; transmission of proof copies of the ballot to candidates; allow clerks to email.


PIME Position: No position. 

2. HB 5252 (Rep. Slagh, R) Elections; ballot proposals; secretary of state to post on the departments website a summary of and the date a ballot petition is received; require.

PIME Position: Support with amendment

Question: In addition to the summary, the SOS should be required to post the complete text of the amendment in order to avoid unintentional errors or bias in the summary.

AMEND Section 475 (1): In addition, upon the filing of a petition under this chapter, the secretary of state shall immediately post on the department of state’s website a summary and the complete text of the proposed amendment or question proposed and the date the petition was filed with the secretary of state.

3. HB 5288 (Rep. Beeler, R) Elections; absent voters; use of a digital or electronic signature to sign an absent voter ballot application; prohibit.

PIME Position: Support with amendment

AMEND: Recommend adding in person to the text and defining ‘physical’ to pertain exclusively to the living and breathing registered voter. The term, physical, shall exclude the use of an autopen using a regular ink pen to duplicate signatures, a printer that physically applies ink to paper, or any signatory method other than at the undertaking of the individual, in-person voter. 

4) An applicant for an absent voter ballot shall must physically sign the application in personAn applicant for an absent voter ballot is not authorized to use a digital or electronic signature to sign the application. The secretary of state, a county, city, or township clerk, an organization, and any individual employed by, contracted by, or associated with an organization, is not authorized to provide an online absent voter ballot application that does not require the applicant to physically sign the application in personSubject to section 761(2), a clerk or assistant clerk shall not deliver an absent voter ballot to an applicant who does not physically and in person sign the application.

The term ‘physical’ pertains exclusively to the living and breathing registered voter and excludes the use of an autopen utilizing a regular ink pen to duplicate signatures, a printer that physically applies ink to paper, or any signatory method except that of the individual, in-person voter applying his or her mark. 

4. HB 5268 (Rep. Calley, R) Elections; absent voters; sending unsolicited absent voter ballot applications; prohibit.

PIME Position: Recommend AMENDMENT. Prohibit both the county clerk and secretary of state from providing absent voter applications. Remove support for ‘permanent absentee’ list.

(10) Each county, city, and township clerk is prohibited from sending an absent voter ballot application to an elector unless the elector applies for an absent voter ballot as provided under subsection (1) or (2) or unless the elector has requested to be placed on a permanent absent voter application list maintained by a city or township clerk. The secretary of state, an assistants to the secretary of state, county clerks, and assistants to the county clerks is are prohibited from sending an absent voter ballot application to an elector.

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair,Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
Patrice Johnson, Chair, Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections, testifies before the House of Representatives Committee on Elections and Ethics, Sept. 14, 2021

Written Statement: House Elections and Ethics Committee, Sept. 14, 2021

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of approximately 275 supporters, located primarily in Ingham and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission, which is to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. 

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work alongside them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is an issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

 
1. HB 4876 (Rep. Alexander). Elections; require election officials; election inspectors filing an affidavit indicating political party affiliation. 

PIME Recommendation: AMEND items in courier font below

  1. ADD TO 677 (1): …perform the duties of the office. The two major state parties will have an opportunity to provide lists and/or supply completed applications of elections inspectors and challengers from which the clerks will prioritize selecting inspectors, workers, and volunteers for all aspects of the election process. If one or both of the political parties fails to provide adequate lists of candidates by the reasonable, well-published, and legal deadline, then the provisions 673a and 674 shall apply without exception to the selection of clerks from the party that failed to provide a list. An individual must not be appointed….
  2. AMEND: (b) A signed affidavit indicating his or her political party affiliation that must be from one of the two major political parties or any party that received 30 percent of the votes cast statewide in the most recent, equivalent election shall recognized by the secretary of state.
  3. ADD: Independent organizations that wish to provide poll challengers should petition for selection for the open positions to be filled by one of the two major parties.
  4. ADD DEFINITION OF THE ELECTION PROCESS: The election process is defined to include, but not limited to, the set up, programming, maintenance, and testing of machines; the receipt, duplication and tabulation of absentee, in-person, and provisional ballots; the curing of ballots; the training of inspectors and challengers; and all certification checks and processes.
  5. PIME believes election inspectors should be of voting age, not 16- or 17-year-olds. Therefore, we request that the committee DELETE (5), an individual who is 16 or 17 years of age may be appointed to a board of election inspectors.

2. HB 4897. (Rep. Calley). Elections; challengers; authorize election challengers designated to a city or township clerk’s office or satellite office on election day. 

PIME Position: AMEND

  1. ADD to Sec. 730 (1). A political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens may designate 2 additional challengers at an absent voter counting board, including an absent voter counting board or combined absent voter counting board established under section 764d, if any area where the absent voter ballots are being processed by election inspectors at that absent voter counting board or combined absent voter counting board cannot be properly viewed, including, but not limited to, any area in the chain of custody process, where the ballots are received, organized, processed, or stored or where an adjudication machine or a ballot tabulators is located. A political party, incorporated organization, or organized committee of interested citizens may designate not more than 2 challengers to serve at a city or township clerk’s office or any satellite office of the city or township clerk, in an area designated by the clerk [that enables the challengers to have clear readability and unobstructed views throughout the entire ballot processing process, including, but not limited to, the adjudication and tabulation processes. at any 1 time on election day. The only limitation on poll workers is that they are not allowed to interfere with the voting and counting process.]
  • ADD to Sec. 731: 
    • An election official or the clerk will be present at all polling locations. 
    • The election official or the clerk will promptly answer, address, and remedy all inspector and challenger questions and concerns. 
    • The election official or the clerk must cite, document, digitally gather, and report election law infractions to the county and state election officials.
  • AMEND Sec. 733.
  • The board of election inspectors shall must provide
  • On election day, each city or township clerk shall provide space in a designated area at the city or township clerk’s office or any satellite office of the city or township clerk that enables challengers to observe electors who are registering to vote and voting an absent voter ballot at the city or township clerk’s office or any satellite office of the city or township clerk on election dayA challenger, having theright and obligation to immediately report concerns to the election official or clerk, under this subsection….

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Chair, Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKatherine Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance

Jim Johnson and Namrata Carolan testify before the Senate Elections Committee, Sept. 1, 2021.

Jim Johnson at 47:26
Namrata Carolan at 31:16

PIME Written Statement: Senate Hearing, Sept. 1, 2021

Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a grassroots group composed of approximately 225 supporters, located primarily in Ingham and Jackson counties. In order to achieve its mission, which is to help restore election integrity to Michigan Elections, PIME analyzes current election bills and laws with an eye toward closing gaps and opportunities for abuse by those who would undermine free and fair elections. 

We appreciate our legislators’ hard work and seek to work with them to achieve maximum transparency, checks and balances, ethics, and integrity in election law. 

PIME is an issue-based, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the US and Michigan Constitutions.

Agenda:

1. HB 4134, Rep. Bollin. Elections; other; precinct size; increase, allow precinct consolidation at certain elections, and require clerks to maintain a permanent absent voter list.

PIME strongly opposes the creation of any permanent absent voter list for the following reasons:

As Chris Swope of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and the Council of Election Officials stated in his testimony, Sept. 1, 2021, “There are other situations such as University towns that end up pushing that limit because every year primarily a quarter of the kids move away, and so many of them we don’t get processed out.”

According to Univstats, “At Michigan colleges, there are 537,083 students including 458,713 undergraduate and 78,370 graduate schools’ students in total for academic year 2020-2021.” (https://www.univstats.com/states/michigan/student-population/)

With approximately 25 percent of the students on the permanent absent voter list becoming ineligible every year, over a four-year election cycle, the permanent absent voter list would gain approximately 537,083 ineligible student voters. 

Further, Michigan’s population declined from 10M to 9.99M with a churn rate of 40 percent of incoming movers and 60% outgoing between 2018 and 2019. (DataUSA, https://datausa.io/profile/geo/michigan/

Therefore, the proposal in HB 4134 to keep a permanent absent voter list defies logic. The core issue that needs to be addressed is: How to clean up the voter rolls, especially in regard to high college voter turnover and the churn rate of residents migrating out of the state each year.

PIME’s position:

OPPOSE: Sec. 658 and 659: Consolidated precincts must not exceed the current 2,900 active registered electors. Keeping the precincts small makes it easier to vote in-person. Increasing precinct size suppresses the vote. Larger precincts make voting more difficult and thereby stimulate mail-in voting and increase the risk of fraud. 

CONDITIONAL SUPPORT of Sec. 661. On condition that there is no change to Michigan’s law requiring paper ballots, PIME supports the striking of (1If the election commission of a city, village, or township using voting machines decides to use paper ballots for a primary or election, the preceding limitations shall continue for that election. 

AMEND: Sec. 759e (1)) Each county, city, or township clerk shall maintain a permanent absent voter application list that is good for one election cycle.

–Voter application for an absentee ballot must be made every election cycle.

–Only a municipal/city or township clerk is authorized to maintain the absent voter application list. Strike county.

–Applications must always made through the township or municipal clerk. Strike  county.

–Applications on college campuses must be cross-checked with the student’s home state to remove duplication. US citizenship must be verified.

AMEND 759e(2) 

Strike the request to be put on the permanent single. Replace with absent voter list

–Absent voter must apply in-person or by mail through the US postal service. 

Application must contain a photocopy of a valid state identification and contain a wet signature.

-Electronic signatures must not be used in this process. 

— STRIKE: by facsimile communication, by email, or by first-class mail

AMEND 759e(3): Strike: permanent

OPPOSE 759e(4): Applications should not be sent out without voter request each election cycle.

AMEND 759E(5): Strike: permanent

AMEND 759E(6): Strike this paragraph. (If there no permanent absent voter application list, and electors are required to apply every cycle, it is impossible to have an inactive file.)

AMEND 759E(7): Strike: permanent (three references).

2. SUPPORT HB 4492, Rep. Bollin. Elections; Expand polling places; polling place locations.

3. SB 280, Sen. Johnson. Elections; initiative and referendum; provide for provision limiting time frame for initiative petition to be completed and submitted.

PIME PositionAMEND 

Initiative petitions under section 9 of article II of the state constitution of 1963 must be filed with the secretary of state at least 200days before the election at which the proposed law would shall appear on the ballot if the legislature rejects or fails to enact the proposed law.   

4. SB 306, Sen. Victory. Elections; election officials; secretary of state to prepare a report regarding clerks who are not current with training; require, and require secretary of state to post the report on the department of state website.

PIME PositionAMEND to include: Prior to the election major state parties shall have an opportunity to provide the lists of pre-approved, trained Workers for all aspects of election process—during programming of machines, set up, absentee and ballot duplication, curing, testing, training of Workers, Election Day, tabulation, and certification. The hire of these party-recommended workers shall be given priority and take precedence over other hires.

The major parties shall have the right to create or to sign off on the training curriculum. Whether the training is created or provided by the two major parties or by the Secretary of State, all training shall be subject to the Legislature’s review and approval. All training sessions shall be video- and audio-recorded and published online for public review. 

Respectfully submitted,

Patrice Johnson, Acting Chair, Pure Integrity for Michigan ElectionsKathryn Schmidt and Libby Ranshaw, Eaton County Republican Women’s Alliance
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