State Rep. Matt Hall, of Marshall, today continued efforts to give people more faith in Michigan’s election process by voting to advance a trio of bills.

As chair of the House Oversight Committee during the 2019-20 legislative term, Hall worked with the Senate Oversight Committee to hold numerous hearings on Michigan’s elections. The hearings covered election concerns and sought a clear picture of state and local elections processes.

The hearings also helped develop ideas and recommendations for what could begin to re-establish trust in Michigan’s elections after so many had voiced concerns. Hall offered a letter of recommended reforms to both the House Oversight Committee and House Elections and Ethics Committee – many of which have since been offered in the form of legislation and are advancing through the legislative process.

“An election where people can have confidence in the results isn’t just essential – it’s a cornerstone of our democracy,” Hall said. “These reforms continue our efforts in the Michigan House to shore up our state’s elections process and give people faith in the results.

“We are acting on the concerns that many people have had since the most recent election. The Legislature has consistently given people a platform to share their experiences and concerns and we are serving as their voice with these votes.”

One advancing measure prohibits outside organizations from accessing the state’s qualified voter file (QVF). In 2020, the Secretary of State partnered with a third-party advocacy group. Through its partnership with the Secretary of State, the vendor collected voter registration details on its website and then sent the information to the SOS’s website. The information then went through checks and controls before it was entered into the QVF, according to the department.

The SOS used an indicator to show the registration was initiated by the contracted vendor, which set off alarm bells with some clerks.

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Other proposals approved by the House include prohibiting the connection of the electronic voting system and electronic pollbooks to the internet on election day, along with an extension for the retention of electronic pollbook software information.

The legislation dealing with internet connectivity on election day, House Bill 4838, was supported by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks. While chairing the House Oversight Committee, Hall worked extensively with county clerks and considered their thoughts on reforms that would make the state’s elections process run more smoothly.

HBs 4838-40 now move to the Senate for further consideration.

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