Secretary of State Ruth Johnson continues to push forward with her agenda to secure election integrity through her Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) initiative. Introduced in October 2011, SAFE is a comprehensive plan that seeks to implement balanced, common sense safeguards while at the same time retaining strong measures in place to ensure that no legitimate voter is disenfranchised.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed most of the bills in the SAFE package into law on July 3, 2012. The new laws will promote transparency and accountability in the elections process by toughening campaign finance laws, helping ensure accuracy in the state's voter rolls and creating new election night policies so errors and issues can be immediately detected and resolved by workers once the polls close. (A full summary of the new laws is available on this site.)
SAFE's three-pronged approach includes new policies, the expanded use of technology and legislative reform to reduce vulnerabilities within the elections process. Johnson has vowed to continue her work with the governor and Legislature on additional reforms to further protect the integrity of Michigan's elections.
In addition to these legislative efforts, the SAFE initiative is also bringing new technology to the forefront by expanding the use of electronic poll books — computers which are used to check in voters at their local precincts on Election Day — to more than 75 percent of Michigan's polling sites this year. This technology will deliver faster moving lines on Election Day and help reduce clerical errors.
In addition, the Michigan Secretary of State's Bureau of Elections will offer voluntary training to get-out-the-vote groups to ensure voter registration volunteers meet all voter registration requirements so that every voter can have their vote count and their voice heard on Election Day.
Read what people are writing about the SAFE initiative:
The Detroit News says, "Improving the rules to avoid glitches and maintain voter confidence is a good idea."
Steve Gunn of the Muskegon Chronicle says, "Johnson wants to make sure Michigan elections are fair and valid, like they're supposed to be."
The Detroit News calls Secretary Johnson's reforms "sensible reforms that should be adopted."
The Bay City Times says of the initiative: "It's clear to us that Johnson takes her task of cleaning up voter issues and fraud very seriously. We're heartened to see someone standing up for changes that will make every Michigan residents vote authentic."
Ottawa County Clerk Dan Krueger is a strong supporter of Secretary Johnson's efforts to clean up Michigan's voter rolls.
Secretary Johnson's Opinion was printed in the Detroit News
Watch Secretary Johnson, lawmakers and a county clerk explain the need to pass her SAFE initiative at the press conference introducing it:
View the various voter ID requirements in the nation.