PIME Testifies at Legislative Hearings


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, 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
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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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