(Click on the underlined links to read the petitions)

The 2022 gubernatorial election is shaping up to contain a record number of ballot proposals allowing voters to take on a wide array of hot-button issues.

A total of 16 proposals have been put forward to the Michigan Secretary of State with topics from dueling voter amendments to drugs and abortion amendments to a variety of COVID-19 pandemic topics and the raising of the state minimum wage. None of the proposals have been approved to appear on the ballot as of Feb. 7. 

The Michigan Board of Canvassers is expected to meet on Feb. 11 to approve language on several proposals.

The Michigan Board of Canvassers has received four ballot proposals to amend the state Constitution: 

  • Protect the Right to Vote petition– The Michigan Republican Party-driven proposal would require photo ID or a signed affidavit to vote; would require a partial Social Security number to register to vote; would provide state-funded IDs to those who need them; would make it so absentee ballot applications would only be available on request; would set the times for absentee voting ; and would make all elections run through public funds by disallowing private donations.  
  • Promote the Vote 2022 petition – The League of Women Voters/ACLU/Voters Not Politicians proposal would insert language in the state Constitution that would bar any law from creating an “undue burden” on voters; It would allow absentee ballots to be counted six days after election if they are postmarked by Election Day; would require proof of identity to register to vote, but would be able to sign for absentee ballots; would require the state to pay for absentee ballot postage; would require at least one secure absentee drop box in every municipality; would enshrine the power of election audits with the Secretary of State Office.  
  • Reproductive Freedom for All Michigan – The Planned Parenthood/ACLU constitutional amendment would allow abortion in the state of Michigan; would allow the state to keep a ban on abortion after a baby could survive outside the womb without extreme measures; it would not allow any bans on contraceptives.  
  • Michigan Changes to Initiative and Legislative Process petition – The proposal would change a process the Michigan Legislature has used to bypass veto from the Governor.  It would require any ballot initiative to be voted on and not allow the Legislature to pass a ballot proposal into law after it meets the requirements.  It would also extend the validity of signatures for a petition by two years. The initiative was filed by something called Michigan Right To Vote.

There are three Michigan constitutional amendments up for a vote that have been proposed by the Michigan Legislature.  The Legislative constitutional amendments have to be passed by the Michigan Senate and House by a two-third majority before heading to the ballot:

  • Michigan Two-Thirds Lame-Duck measure – The constitutional amendment was proposed by House Speaker Jason WENTWORTH (R-Farwell).  The proposal would require any bill proposed between November and the start of a new Legislative session, known as a lame-duck session, receive two-thirds majority to pass. It has passed the House, but not the Senate.
  • Michigan Civil Service Employee Legislative Communication measure – The constitutional amendment was proposed by a group of Michigan Senators in March.  The amendment would keep state civil service employees from being disciplined for talking with legislators or their staff.  It has passed the Senate, but not the House.
  • Legislative Vote to Suspend Legislator’s Salary measure – The proposal passed in the House would amend the Michigan Constitution to allow a legislator’s salary and expense account to be suspended for unethical actions or excessive absence.  A vote would need to pass both chambers of the Legislature by a two-third majority. It has passed the House, but not the Senate.

There are nine citizen-initiated state statutes that are heading to the state Board of Canvassers.  These proposed laws can create veto-proof legislation that can be directly passed by the Michigan Legislature if they collect the number of signatures to end up on the ballot.  If the legislation is not taken up by the Legislature, then the proposals end up on the ballot:

  • Voter ID Initiative – The proposal would require an ID card to vote in-person or by absentee ballot.  
  • Michigan Election Audits Initiative – The proposal would create a Forensic Audit Board that would be responsible for auditing election results, including those from November 2020. 
  • Michigan Minimum Wage Increase to $15 – The proposal would increase the minimum wage in the state to $15 per hour by the year 2027.  The increase would start at $11 per hour starting in 2023 and increase by $1 per year until the $15 cap. 
  • Payday Loan Interest Rate Cap – The proposal would set the interest rate on payday lenders at 36% annually.  Any rate exceeding the cap would be deemed unenforceable.  The initiative would also create a consumer warning for payday loan businesses. 
  • Unlock Michigan II – The ballot proposal would limit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and county health department emergency orders to 28 days unless approved by the legislative government controlling the area. 
  • This Liberty and Justice for All proposal – The initiative would incentivize good behavior in prisoners through credit for time served, regardless of their sentence date.  Under current legislation, according to the ballot measure, only prisoners sentenced after April 1, 1987, are eligible to have time knocked off for good behavior. 
  • Student Opportunity Scholarship Program – The Great Lakes Education Project-backed measure would create a program called the Student Opportunity Scholarship that would allow organizations to register with the state to distribute scholarships to students for both public and private education.  
  • Student Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit – The proposal would create an income tax credit for anyone contributing to the Student Opportunity Scholarship program. 
  • Decriminalization of Psilocybin Mushrooms and Other Plants and Fungi – The proposal would decriminalize the cultivation, possession and use of psychotropic plants and fungi, such as mescaline, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms.