Michigan ballot proposal preview: Term limits, elections, and abortion

Absentee ballots are being mailed out, ballot proposal language has been approved, and election season is entering the final stages of campaigning: the 2022 midterm is upon us.

In Michigan, anyone interested in seeing what their ballot looks like can see so by going to the Michigan Secretary of State website and put in their precinct information.  

It's going to be a consequential election for Michigan with statewide seats up for grabs. However, it was ballot proposals that added drama to the final stages of primary season when the Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on whether to allow the three measures.

More 2022 Midterm coverage here

A state Supreme Court decision ordered the board to approve the measures on Sept. 9. The three measures concern term limits of lawmakers, expanding election access, and abortion. Here's a breakdown:

Ballot proposal 1: Term limits

Prop 1 concerns the length of time that state lawmakers can remain in the Michigan legislature. 

Official Language: 

Proposal 22-1 A Proposal To Amend The State Constitution To Require Annual Public Financial Disclosure Reports By Legislators And Other State Officers And Change State Legislator Term Limit To 12 Total Years In Legislature

A 'yes' vote would: 

  • Require members of legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general file annual public financial disclosure reports after 2023, including assets, liabilities, income sources, future employment agreements, gifts, travel reimbursements, and positions held in organizations except religious, social, and political organizations.
  • Require legislature implement but not limit or restrict reporting requirements.
  • Replace current term limits for state representatives and state senators with a 12-year total limit in any combination between house and senate, except a person elected to senate in 2022 may be elected the number of times allowed when that person became a candidate.

Ballot Proposal 2: Elections

Prop 2 concerns expanding access within Michigan's election systems. 

Official Language: 

Proposal 22-2 A Proposal To Amend The State Constitution To Add Provisions Regarding Elections.

A 'yes' vote would:

  • Recognize fundamental right to vote without harassing conduct;
  • Require military or overseas ballots be counted if postmarked by election day;
  • Provide voter right to verify identity with photo ID or signed statement;
  • Provide voter right to single application to vote absentee in all elections;
  • Require state-funded absentee-ballot drop boxes, and postage for absentee applications and ballots;
  • Provide that only election officials may conduct post-election audits;
  • Require nine days of early in-person voting;
  • Allow donations to fund elections, which must be disclosed;
  • Require canvass boards certify election results based only on the official records of votes cast.

Ballot Proposal 3: Abortion

Prop 3 concerns making access to abortion in Michigan a constitutional right. 

Official Language:

Proposal 22-3 A Proposal To Amend The State Constitution To Establish New Individual Right To Reproductive Freedom, Including Right To Make All Decisions About Pregnancy And Abortion; Allow State To Regulate Abortion In Some Cases; And Forbid Prosecution Of Individuals Exercising Established Right

A 'yes' vote would:

  • Establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility;
  • Allow state to regulate abortion after fetal viability, but not prohibit if medically needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health;
  • Forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right; prohibit prosecution of an individual, or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment;
  • Invalidate state laws conflicting with this amendment.