JULY 3, 2012
Johnson thanks lawmakers for acting on her SAFE
LANSING, Mich. - Secretary of State Ruth Johnson
applauded state lawmakers today for their work to move much-needed election
reforms forward in the state.
"To me there is nothing more sacred to democracy than integrity in our
elections - safeguarding the principle of one citizen, one vote," Johnson said.
"Our system is the best in the world and I encourage every voter who can do so
to register and vote to have their voice heard on Election Day. These measures,
such as electronic pollbooks and post-election audits, will work together
to ensure integrity in the process."
Key lawmakers praised the legislation that was signed today.
"I'm grateful for the cooperative efforts that achieved these positive
changes for voters," said Sen. David Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, chair of the
Senate Local Government and Elections Committee. "Together, we have improved
elections in Michigan."
"These reforms will strengthen our elections system and further promote
election integrity," said Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, chair of the House
Redistricting and Elections Committee."
The legislation makes Johnson's proposals in her
Fair Elections (SAFE) Initiative last fall a reality. Included in the reform
package signed by Snyder today are bills that would:
Toughen campaign finance laws, including creation of felony charges and
possible forfeiture of funds for the worst offenders.
Prevent stealth efforts, such as the fake Tea Party, by requiring
organizations to file campaign finance reports so voters know who is really
behind those efforts.
Create new election night policies so errors and issues can be immediately
detected by election workers once the polls close.
Promote election transparency by requiring ballot question and political
action committees file campaign statements more often. Ballot question
committees also must file earlier.
Stop candidates from using campaign money to pay for legal expenses unrelated
to their campaigns.
Johnson said that while she is disappointed the governor chose to not sign
parts of the package - all parts of which drew bipartisan support - she will
continue to work for election reform.
"The fact remains that the citizenship checkbox has prevented unqualified
voters from casting ballots," Johnson said, adding she will continue to require
that ballot application forms have the citizenship checkbox.
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