The Michigan House today approved Rep. Bradley Slagh’s plan to hold the Secretary of State’s office more accountable to the people of Michigan.
Currently, when petition signatures are submitted to the Secretary of State for any voter initiative or referendum, neither the Secretary of State nor the Bureau of Elections are required to keep the public informed of the process or timeline of receipt and approval of the petitions.
Slagh said it is difficult to track the progress of the department’s work on signature verification and other issues of importance and has presented challenges for people to research current and past petition filings and the amount of time it has taken for those petitions to see formal action by the Board of State Canvassers.
To address these shortcomings, Slagh’s bill would require the department to publicly post the official date of receipt of petitions, a summary of the amendment or question proposed, and regular status updates of the petition process.
“This requirement should be easily attainable and cost the department little to nothing to accomplish,” said Slagh, of Zeeland. “The people of Michigan deserve to be informed about the status of petitions submitted to the Secretary of State. This plan will help hold the department accountable to the people.”
The legislation now moves to the Senate for further consideration.