Governor Snyder signed House Bill 4892 (Chatfield) on Monday morning, just in time for the affected communities to print and prepare their November ballots for mailing.
Now known as Public Act 118 of 2017, HB 4892 will allow any community that inadvertently followed candidate filing deadlines outlined within their charter, as opposed to the uniform filing date established within Michigan election law (15th Tuesday prior to the election), to place all otherwise eligible candidates back on the November ballot.
One provision was added to this bill in the House that differentiates this language from a similar fix that was done in 2015 for the city of Flint. The House amendment now includes a $2500 penalty/reimbursement of costs for any community that utilizes this extension in 2017 and adds a $5000 penalty for any community that misses the state filing deadline in the future.
The League worked with the cities of Sault Ste Marie and Tecumseh to develop the original language in HB 4892 (and the companion SB 526-Schmidt) and move the bill through both the House and Senate in a matter of weeks to ensure implementation in time to meet federal ballot deadlines for military and overseas voters.
The League will continue working with member communities, the Legislature and the Secretary of State to guard against similar situations occurring in the future.
Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and [email protected].