Difference between revisions of "Laws governing the initiative process in Michigan"

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===Restrictions on circulators===
 
===Restrictions on circulators===
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====Circulator requirements====
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::''See also: [[Petition circulator]]''
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Each initiative petition contains a mandatory [[Circulator affidavit|circulator affidavit]]. A circulator is not required to sign these affidavits before a public notary, however he/she must swear to and sign a statement, under the penalty of law, that he/she personally witnessed every act of signing the petition.<ref name=michigan>[http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(dsi5vc45nuzphpje5jluni2x))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-168-544c ‘’‘State of Michigan Legislature’’’, “Michigan Statues: Section 168.544c”, accessed September 6, 2103]</ref> According to Michigan Statutes Sec. 168.544c, those circulating petitions are required:<ref name=michigan/>
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*to be a registered elector of the state of Michigan
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Once circulation is completed, the signatures are submitted to the [[Michigan Secretary of State|Secretary of State]].<ref>[http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(4thubryuazhtb2bqn3bgfczo))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-168-471 ‘’’State of Michigan Legislature’’’, “Michigan Statutes Sec. 168-471”, accessed September 6, 2013]</ref>
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[[File:DocumentIcon.jpg|link=Portal:Ballot measure law]] <span style="color:#363636">'''''See law:''' [http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(dsi5vc45nuzphpje5jluni2x))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-168-544c Michigan Statues and Codes, Sec. 168.544c] & [http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(4thubryuazhtb2bqn3bgfczo))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-168-471 Michigan Statues and Codes, Sec. 168-471]''</span>
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====Pay-per-signature====
 
====Pay-per-signature====
  

Revision as of 09:15, 6 September 2013

[edit]

Ballot law
BallotLaw final.png
State laws
Initiative law
Recall law
Statutory changes
Court cases
Lawsuit news
Ballot access rulings
Recent court cases
Petitioner access
Ballot title challenges
Superseding initiatives
Signature challenges
Laws governing
local ballot measures
Contents
1 Laws and procedures
1.1 Crafting an initiative
1.1.1 Single-subject rule
1.1.2 Subject restrictions
1.1.3 Competing initiatives
1.2 Starting a petition
1.2.1 Applying to petition
1.2.2 Proposal review/approval
1.2.3 Fiscal review
1.3 Collecting signatures
1.3.1 Number required
1.3.2 Distribution requirements
1.3.3 Restrictions on circulators
1.3.4 Electronic signatures
1.3.5 Deadlines for collection
1.4 Getting on the ballot
1.4.1 Signature verification
1.4.2 Ballot title and summary
1.5 The election and beyond
1.5.1 Supermajority requirements
1.5.2 Effective date
1.5.3 Litigation
1.5.4 Legislative tampering
1.5.5 Re-attempting an initiative
1.6 Funding an initiative campaign
1.7 State initiative law
2 Changes in the law

Citizens of Michigan may initiate legislation as either an indirectly initiated state statute or a directly initiated constitutional amendment. For statutes, if the petition receives enough valid signatures, then the state legislature has 40 days to adopt or reject the proposal. If the legislature rejects the law, then the measure is placed on the next general election ballot. For amendments, if the petition contains sufficient signatures, then the measure is placed directly on the next general election ballot. In addition, residents have the power to repeal legislation via veto referendum. The Michigan State Legislature can also place measures on the ballot as legislatively-referred constitutional amendments.

Crafting an initiative

Of the 24 states that allow citizens to initiate legislation through the petition process, several states have adopted restrictions and regulations that limit the allowable scope and content of initiated proposals. These regulations may include laws that mandate that initiatives address only one topic, restrict the range of acceptable topics for proposed laws, prohibit unfunded mandates, and establish guidelines for adjudicating contradictory measures.

Single-subject rule

See also: Single-subject rule

Michigan does not have a single-subject rule. However, in 2008, an expansive government reform amendment was removed from the ballot after a Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that it required a constitutional convention. The court found that the measure's numerous changes constituted a "general revision" of the state constitution. The court refused to comment on whether amendments must generally hold to a single purpose. The court's decision can be found here.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9; Article XII, Sections 1 - 4 & Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution v. Secretary Of State

Subject restrictions

See also: Subject restrictions (ballot measures)

In Michigan, residents can only initiate statutes which the legislature could also enact under the Michigan Constitution.

"Appropriations for state institutions or to meet deficiencies in state funds" are not subject to referendum.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9

Competing initiatives

See also: Superseding initiatives; "Poison pills"; List of Michigan ballot measures

Michigan law provides that in the event that two approved measures conflict, the measure with the most affirmative votes supersedes the other.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 & Article XII, Section 2

Starting a petition

Each initiative and referendum state employs a different procedure for filing petition applications. Some states require preliminary signatures while others do not. In addition, several states review each proposed statute, verifying that the law conforms to the style and conventions of state law and recommending alterations to initiative proponents. Some of these of these states also review the law for more substantive considerations of content and consistency. Also, many states conduct a review of the ballot title and summary, and several states employ a fiscal review process which analyzes proposed laws to determine their impact on state finances.[1][2][3]

Applying to petition

See also: Approved for circulation

Michigan does not require initiative proponents to apply or register with the state. Proponents must still register for campaign finance purposes if they receive or spends more than $500 in a calendar year.[4]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 ; Article XII, Section 2 & Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168 (Act 116)

Proposal review/approval

See also: Approved for circulation

While Michigan law does regulate initiative petition forms (see specific statutes below), the state review process is optional. Proponents may submit a draft petition form to the Bureau of Election for consultation on its form. Once evaluated with the Bureau, the form is submitted to the Board of State Canvassers for approval. According to the state, securing pre-approval "greatly reduces" the risk that signatures will be rejected due to formatting errors. The review process does not consider the language of the proposed statute or amendment.[5]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168, Section 544d; Section 544c & Section 482

Fiscal review

See also: Fiscal impact statement

Michigan does not conduct a fiscal review of ballot measures.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 ; Article XII, Section 2 & Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168 (Act 116)

Collecting signatures

Each initiative and referendum state employs a unique method of calculating the state's signature requirements. Some states mandate a certain fraction of registered voters while others base their calculation on those who actually voted in a preceding election. In addition, many states employ a distribution requirement, dictating where in the state these signatures must be collected. Beyond these overarching requirements, many states regulate the manner in which signatures may be collected and the timeline for collecting them.

Number required

See also: Michigan signature requirements

Michigan's signature requirements are tied to the total number of votes cast for the office of Governor at the last election. For statutes, signatures equaling 8% of this total are required. For amendments, 10% are required. For veto referenda, 5% are required.

Year Initiated amendment Initiated statute Veto referendum
2014 322,609 258,087 161,304
2012 322,609 258,087 161,304
2010 382,129 305,703 191,065
2008 380,126 304,101 190,063

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 & Article XII, Section 2

Distribution requirements

See also: Distribution requirements

Michigan does not have a distribution requirement. As such, any proportion of the required signatures may be collected from any county or congressional district.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 & Article XII, Section 2

Restrictions on circulators

Circulator requirements

See also: Petition circulator

Each initiative petition contains a mandatory circulator affidavit. A circulator is not required to sign these affidavits before a public notary, however he/she must swear to and sign a statement, under the penalty of law, that he/she personally witnessed every act of signing the petition.[6] According to Michigan Statutes Sec. 168.544c, those circulating petitions are required:[6]

  • to be a registered elector of the state of Michigan

Once circulation is completed, the signatures are submitted to the Secretary of State.[7]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Statues and Codes, Sec. 168.544c & Michigan Statues and Codes, Sec. 168-471

Pay-per-signature

See also: Pay-per-signature

Michigan does not ban pay-per-signature.[8]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 ; Article XII, Section 2 & Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168 (Act 116)

Out-of-state circulators

See also: Residency requirements for petition circulators

Michigan requires that petition circulators are registered to vote in the state.[9]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168, Section 544c

Badge requirements

See also: Badge requirements

Michigan does not require paid and volunteer circulators be identified as such on badges or petitions.[10]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 ; Article XII, Section 2 & Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168 (Act 116)

Electronic signatures

See also: Electronic petition signatures

Since electronic signatures are an emerging technology, the constitutionality of bans on e-signatures and the legality of e-signatures in states without bans is largely untested. Michigan law does mandate that signatures be collected in person.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168, Section 544c

Deadlines for collection

See also: Petition drive deadlines; Circulation period

In Michigan, petitioners have 180 days to collect signatures. Signatures older than 180 days at the time of filing will be presumed "stale and void." In addition, any signatures collected before a November election where a governor is elected, cannot be submitted after that election. Amendment petitions must be filed 120 days prior to the election. Petitions for statutes must be filed 160 days prior to election, allowing the legislators 40 days to pass the proposed law.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9; Article XII, Section 2; Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168, Section 471 & Section 473b

Getting on the ballot

Once signatures have been collected, state officials must verify that requirements are met and that fraudulent signatures are excluded. States generally employ a random sample process or a full verification of signatures. After verification, the issue must be prepared for the ballot. This often involves preparing a fiscal review and ballot summary.

Signature verification

See also: Signature certification

In Michigan, signatures are filed with the Secretary of State and verified by the Board of State Canvassers using a random sample method of verification.[11]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168, Section 475; Section 476; Section 477 & Section 478

Ballot title and summary

See also: Ballot title

In Michigan, each ballot measure receives a generic title, consisting of the last two digits of the year and a number designating the order in which it was filed to appear on the ballot (Proposal 12-1, Proposal 12-2, Proposal 12-3...). In addition, each measure receives a summary of 100 words or less, objectively describing the purpose of the measure. This summary is drafted by the Director of Elections and approved by the Board of State Canvassers.

  • A sample of a past ballot can be found here.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168, Section 474 & Section 474a

The election and beyond

Ballot measures face additional challenges beyond qualifying for the ballot and receiving a majority of the vote. Several states require ballot measures to get more than a simple majority. While some states mandate a 3/5 supermajority, others states set the margin differently. In addition, ballot measures may face legal challenge or modification by legislators. If a ballot measure does fail, some states limit how soon that initiative can be re-attempted.

Supermajority requirements

See also: Supermajority requirements

Michigan ballot measures do not require a supermajority for approval. This includes initiated statutes, initiated amendments, and referendums.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 & Article XII, Section 2

Effective date

Approved statutes take effect 10 days after the official declaration of election results. Approved amendments take effect 45 after the election date.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 & Article XII, Section 2

Litigation

See also: Ballot measure lawsuit news

An person who believes that they have been aggrieved by a decision of the Board of State Canvassers may challenge the decision in the Michigan Supreme Court.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168, Section 479

Legislative tampering

See also: Legislative tampering

The Michigan State Legislature may only change or repeal initiated statutes by three-fourths supermajority vote in each house. In the case of amendments, the Legislature must pass an amendment by a two-thirds majority and place it on the ballot. (The same process is required for ordinary legislatively-referred constitutional amendments.)

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 & Article XII, Section 2

Re-attempting an initiative

Michigan does not limit how soon an initiative can be re-attempted.[12]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 & Article XII, Section 2

Funding an initiative campaign

Main article: Campaign finance requirements for Michigan ballot measures

Some of the notable features of Michigan's campaign finance laws are:

  • Bans all campaign contributions from people that have a ownership stake in a casino/gambling establishment.
  • Requires individuals who raise or spend $500 to support or defeat a referendum to register with the Michigan Secretary of State.
  • Requires all campaigns to use checks for all expenditures over $50.
  • Allows contributions from corporations and labor unions to support or oppose a referendum.

State initiative law

Articles II & XII of the Michigan Constitution provide authority for the initiative and referendum process.

Chapter 168 of the Michigan Revised Statutes governs the initiative and referendum process.

External links

References



Ballot law
BallotLaw final.png
State laws
Initiative law
Recall law
Statutory changes
Court cases
Lawsuit news
Ballot access rulings
Recent court cases
Petitioner access
Ballot title challenges
Superseding initiatives
Signature challenges
Laws governing
local ballot measures
Contents
1 Laws and procedures
2 Changes in the law
2.1 Proposed changes by year
2.1.1 2012
2.1.2 2011
2.1.3 2010

The following laws have been proposed which modify ballot measure law in Michigan.

Proposed changes by year

2012

See also: Changes in 2012 to laws governing ballot measures


The following bills were introduced in the Michigan State Legislature:

Approveda Michigan House Bill 6060 (2012): Tightens recall laws, making it more difficult to recall elected officials.


Approveda Michigan Senate Bill 0824 (2012): Revises the Michigan Campaign Finance Act with new specifications of the secretary of state's duties, as well as, new definitions and punishments for late reporting of campaign contributions.

2011

See also: Changes in 2011 to laws governing ballot measures


The following bills were introduced in the Michigan State Legislature:

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Michigan Senate Bill 5063

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Michigan Senate Bill 88: SB 88 would require that petitions indicate whether the circulator is paid and by whom he or she is employed.

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Michigan Senate Bill 629

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg HB 5059

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg HJR GG

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg SB 823


2010

See also: Changes in 2010 to laws governing ballot measures


The following bills were introduced in the Michigan Legislature:

Defeatedd HB 4364: Would require the name of a petition circulator to be printed on the official petition.

Defeatedd HB 4560: Would make revisions to Michigan's recall law.

Defeatedd SB 1357: Would require campaigns for or against constitutional conventions to follow campaign disclosure laws.

Defeatedd SB 1358: Would set a campaign disclosure reporting schedule for constitutional convention campaigns. Defeatedd SB 7: Would increase penalties on petition circulators who fraudulently obtain signatures.

Defeatedd SB 9: Would make revision's to Michigan's recall law.

Defeatedd SB 144: Would switch the campaign finance reporting deadlines for Ballot Measure Committees.

Defeatedd SB 394: Would increase restrictions to Michigan's recall law only allowing the law to be used for cases of malfeasance and serious corruption.

Defeatedd SB 413: Would increase criteria in order to accept signatures on petitions. The bill was approved by the Michigan State Senate on January 27, 2010 on a 31-6 vote. The bill awaits a vote in the Michigan House of Representatives[1].

Defeatedd SB 951/952: Would change the format of official initiative petitions including having the full ballot question on the petition and changing the size type and how many lines would be on a petition.

Defeatedd SB 953: Would require the Michigan Secretary of State to post on its official website the subject matter in relation to potential ballot measures. The bill was approved by the Michigan State Senate on January 27, 2010 on a 29-8 vote. The bill awaits a vote in the Michigan House of Representatives[2].

Defeatedd SB 954: Would require warning disclaimers on official initiative petitions in Michigan. The bill was approved by the Michigan State Senate on January 27, 2010 on a 30-7 vote. The bill awaits a vote in the Michigan House of Representatives[3].

Defeatedd SJR C: Would add a distribution requirement that initiative petitions must have the signature of one elector in each of the state's counties along with 42 counties having 100 or more electors signing petitions within the respective county.