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Proposal 3 Aims To Expand Voter Access

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Michigan voters will have three proposals to mull over on Election Day. The least talked about measure, Proposal 3, is one aimed at adding several provisions to the state constitution.

“Other states already provided a lot of this access and we’ve talked about it for years in the state of Michigan,” says former Ottawa County clerk Dan Krueger.

The measure will automatically register you to vote when you renew your license, it removes the need for a reason to get an absentee ballot, allows you to register to vote whenever, even on Election Day and will reinstate straight ticket voting, which was just voted out for this election.

Prop 3 will also take standing election laws like state election audits, military voting timeframes and secret ballots and put them right in the constitution.

“Therefore it would make it a lot harder to change or modify in the future,” says Lake County Clerk Patti Pacola.

There’s a lot there and some would say too much for one proposal.

“I think it can be intimidating because people are going to agree on some and disagree on others, which is going to conflict their vote,” says Pacola.

Passage will  add work for local clerks with more absentee ballots to handle and a busier Election Day with people registering and voting right away.

“Initially we may have that but overall it’s going to cut down over the long period to almost nothing,” says Krueger.

“It would eliminate a lot of confusion for voters because a lot of times, especially this election, we’ve got a lot of college students coming in wanting to know if they’re registered to vote,” says Big Rapids City Clerk Tamyra Gillis, “Not sure if they’re registered to vote or where they’re registered.”

Most of the attention this election season has gone to other spots on the ballot but as more people are getting engaged, Prop 3 is becoming a hotter topic.

“There’s been a lot of interest in Proposal 3, which is quite surprising,” says Gillis, “Like I said, the clerks have been lobbying for this for many years.”

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