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Michigan Election Law Amendments Will Require Ballot Language to be Certified Two Weeks Earlier than Previously Required

February 27, 2014

Recent changes to the Michigan Election Law will require municipalities and school districts to certify ballot language two weeks earlier than previously required.

Michigan Public Act 253 of 2013, which amends the Michigan Election Law effective April 26, 2014, requires local ballot questions to be certified no later than 4:00 pm on the twelfth Tuesday before the election date.  For ballot questions certified prior to April 26 of this year, local units have been required to have ballot language certified not less than 70 days (10 weeks) before the election date, with no deadline for the time of day.  The change does not affect questions certified for the May 2014 election date.  The deadline for certifying local ballot questions for the August primary election date will be May 13, 2014.

In addition, under the new requirements, if a ballot question is certified to a clerk other than the county clerk, the local clerk is required to certify the language to the county clerk at least 82 days before the election.  Previously, this requirement was 68 days before the election.

Miller Canfield's Public Finance lawyers would be happy to discuss the changes and new deadlines with you and address any other questions you may have regarding the Michigan Election Law and ballot proposals.

Amanda Van Dusen • +1.313.496.7512