Two new proposals for ballot petition language in 2018 dealing with voting reforms and beefing up the state’s renewable energy standards will be up for consideration this week by Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers.
At a 10 a.m. Tuesday meeting in Lansing, the board will consider the form of proposed ballot language from the groups Promote the Vote, a campaign to substantially change election laws with a Constitutional amendment, and Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan, whose proposal would raise Michigan’s renewable energy portfolio standard to 30 percent by 2030.
Form approval is a voluntary step ballot campaigns can take to let state officials review any possible technical issues with the proposal prior to signature collection.
Promote the Vote’s proposal was first unveiled last month and is backed by a coalition of the League of Women Voters, the ACLU of Michigan and both the Detroit and statewide branches of the NAACP.
If passed as is, the amendment would implement no-reason absentee voting, give military members more time to vote, let citizens register closer to Election Day, allow straight party voting, automatically register citizens, protect secret ballots and require audits for election results. The plan would need 315,654 valid signatures to get on the November 2018 ballot.
“We’re all better off when more Americans – Republicans, Democrats and independents – participate in our democracy,” Judy Karandjeff, president of the League of Women Voters of Michigan, said in a statement about the plan. “Providing a system that works for all isn’t hard; it just common sense.”
Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan’s proposal would require electric providers to incrementally raise the amount of renewable energy provided to 30 percent by 2030.
Acceptable renewable energy sources under the plan include solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, municipal solid waste or landfill gas. Pet coke, scrap tires, coal waste, or other hazardous waste would not qualify for the standard.
The proposal also requires providers to not charge residential customers more than an average of $2 per month to implement the renewable energy standard.
“Good paying jobs as solar installers and wind technicians will come from more renewable energy, John Sarver, member of the non-profit Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, said of the effort in a statement. “Eighteen other states have a renewable energy requirement greater than Michigan. We can do better and become a leader in promoting clean energy.”
During the Tuesday meeting, the Board of State Canvassers will also consider a petition to recall Branch County Prosecutor Ralph Kimble, who is currently facing allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.