By Sophie Deiters
For Michigan voters, the Nov. 8 election is hugely important. There are going to be three proposals on the ballot that, if adopted, will make changes to constitutional amendments in Michigan. The Collegiate hopes that this article will help students at GRCC become more educated about each proposition, in order to make informed decisions at the polls.
According to the Michigan Department of State, proposal 22-1 would require elected officials to publicly disclose their finances. This would include things like travel expenses, gifts, assets and liabilities. In fact, Michigan is currently one of two states in the United States that does not require elected officials to disclose their financial spending. This lack of transparency has allowed officials to spend government money without being checked by the people of Michigan, but this proposal would put an end to that.
Another big part of this proposal is the change to term limits. Currently, legislators can serve a maximum of three terms in the House of Representatives and two terms in Senate. That would be a total of 14 years in office if someone were to hold both positions for the maximum amount of time. Proposition three would limit officials to a combined total of 12 years in office, allowing for longer terms in a single chamber without extending their total time as a legislator.
Proposal 22-2 will also appear on the ballot and, if adopted, would constitutionally protect several voting rights in Michigan. It would protect your rights to vote by mail and would make state-funded absentee-ballot drop boxes, and postage for absentee applications and ballots a requirement. For those serving in the military or overseas, it would be mandatory to count their votes if the ballot was stamped by election day. This proposal would also require nine days of early, in-person voting and would make it constitutionally illegal to get harassed while voting. All of these changes would make voting in Michigan more accessible.
Aside from those changes, the proposal would also provide that only election officials may conduct post-election quality assurance checks and it would require canvas boards to certify election results based only on the official records of the votes casted. It would also ensure that potential candidates are able to fund elections from donations as long as those donations are publicly disclosed.
Proposal 3 is probably the most hotly debabated and that’s because it has to do with abortion rights here in Michigan. In 1836, prior to Roe V. Wade, Michigan made it illegal for women to abort a pregnancy. The law was later revised in 1931 to add greater penalities for those assisting with abortions. Proponents of proposal 3 argue that these laws are outdated and extreme. The proposal has five parts. The first says that people should have the freedom to make decisions on “all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.” This would protect women’s rights to make decisions on their own reproductive care. The document clarifies that the state may be able to “regulate the provision of abortion care after fetal viability” which means that if the fetus is able to survive outside of the womb, then the state will not allow doctors to abort the fetus at that time. The exception to this would be if the woman’s life was at risk. To clarify, 91% of abortions are performed in the first trimester and if they’re not it’s often a situation where the women wanted to carry the fetus to term, but had some complication that prevented this from happening. The second part to this proposal just states that the state cannot discriminate in the protection or enforcement of these rights. The third part states that nobody who receives care for their pregnancy outcomes including stillbirth, abortions, or miscarriages can be prosecuted by the state. It also protects the doctors who aid in these outcomes from prosecution. The fourth part clarifies that the state may only infringe on these rights in the case of “protecting the health of an individual seeking care” or in the case of fetal viability which this section also clarifies the definition of. The final section says that the proposal would be “self-executing” which means that if voted in by the majority, it would go into effect without any other requirements.