State Rep. Rodney Wakeman of Saginaw Township today voted in favor of reforms to help ensure free, fair and reliable elections in Michigan.
With strong bipartisan support, Wakeman and the Michigan House approved measures to help guard against potential hacking of voting machines, explicitly prohibit outside groups from accessing the state’s qualified voter file, and standardize the retention period for election-related materials.
“I hear people’s concerns and remain focused on common-sense reforms that have broad support,” Wakeman said. “These changes will ensure best practices are followed in future elections and help restore faith that our processes are safe and secure.”
The improvements to the system are contained in three separate measures approved by the House.
House Bill 4838 would put into state law a practice prohibiting voting machines and electronic pollbooks from being connected to the internet from the time polls open until votes from the precinct are tabulated. The measure, which has the support of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, is designed to lessen the chances of potential hacking or efforts to change vote counts.
House Bill 4837 would clarify that election officials are prohibited from allowing outside organizations and advocacy groups access to the qualified voter file. The QVF is the official database for Michigan’s voter registration records.
House Bill 4840 would make sure election records are kept for a uniform, consistent time period by municipalities across the state. This would include a requirement that ballots be kept for 22 months related to state and federal elections.
All three measures now advance to the Senate for further consideration.
State Rep. Rodney Wakeman, chair of the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee, is spearheading a plan to offer better services to Michigan’s most vulnerable children by making changes to critical areas where Michigan’s adoption and foster care system is falling short.
Rep. Wakeman, whose House district includes Frankenmuth, says the legislation just approved by the House suspending the state’s gas tax for six months would have a positive impact on Michigan tourism, and holds up Frankenmuth and the Saginaw Bay regions as places that would benefit.