2022 Michigan Proposals: A Non-Partisan Fact Sheet 

Proposal 1. Term Limits & Financial Transparency 

What it does/doesn’t do; what supporters/opponents say. This is a proposal for a Constitutional Amendment

  • Changes the structure of term limits for State Representatives and State Senators. (Does not impact term limits for other offices.) Currently, they are allowed to serve a maximum of 6 yrs (3 terms) in the House AND 8 yrs (2 terms) in the Senate. This would reduce the total number of allowed years from 14 to 12. All 12 of those years could be served in one chamber, or divided in any combination. (Reps could serve up to a total of 6 terms, and Senators could serve up to 3 terms.) Term limits are not impacted by redistricting or relocating.
  • This would also require all state lawmakers,  Governor, Lt Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General, to disclose certain personal information including: description of assets, all income, liabilities, continuing benefits from former/future employers, payments and gifts. Currently MI is one of two states that does not require this. Financial disclosures are required only from these elected officials. Candidates, spouses and family members do not need to file. 

Opponents claim: Changes term limits. Does not outline penalties for non-compliance. Doesn’t go far enough.

Supporters say: Bipartisan support. Shines a light on conflicts of interest. Brings MI in line with Congress and 48 other states. Allows lawmakers more time to gain expertise and accomplish their goals.

Proposal 2. Promote the Vote

What it does/doesn’t do; what supporters/opponents say. This is a proposal for a Constitutional Amendment

  • Recognizes the fundamental right to vote without harassing conduct;
  • Requires military/overseas ballots to be counted if postmarked by Election Day and received within 6 days
  • Provides voters the right to verify identity with photo ID or signed statement (affidavit). This proposal protects this right that we have always had.
  • Provides the right to a single application to vote absentee in all elections. Currently, voters on the Permanent Absentee Voter List receive an application prior to every election. This would allow voters to receive ballots for all elections with one application.
  • Creates a tracking system whereby voters can track whether their ballot has been sent/received. Voter identity is confirmed by comparing signature with the voter file. If signatures do not match, clerk must make a reasonable effort to contact voter and allow them a chance to “cure” their ballot.
  • Requires state-funded absentee-ballot drop boxes, and postage for absentee applications/ballots. This would require at least one dropbox in every municipality and one for every 15K registered voters. Requires all applications and ballots be sent with pre-paid postage.
  • Provide that only election officials may conduct post-election audits.
  • Requires nine 8-hour days of early in-person voting, including the two full weekends.
  • Allows donations to fund elections, which must be disclosed. This protects the current right for schools and congregations to donate their space to be used as a polling location.
  • Requires canvass boards to certify results based only on the official records of votes cast.
  • Will have no impact on the voting rights of people who are incarcerated. 

Opponents claim: Terms like “harassment, intimidation and interference” are not defined. No funding sources are identified. Critics argue this leaves us open to voter fraud and insecure elections and  will allow prisoners to vote. (The MI Supreme Court has stated that Prop 2 will have no impact on rights of prisoners.)

Supporters say: Protects the military vote. Support from voting rights organizations/activists. Protects current voting rights. Protects voters from attempts to enact voter suppression legislation. Creates more flexibility and access to voting. Removes potential obstacles to voting.

Debunking disinformation: This will not impact voting rights for people who are incarcerated. This protects rights we already have.

Proposal 3. Reproductive Freedom For All (RFFA)

What it does/doesn’t do; what supporters/opponents say. This is a proposal for a Constitutional Amendment

  • Makes reproductive freedom a right and “affirm that every person has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which involves the right to make and carry out decisions without political interference about all matters relating to pregnancy, including birth control, abortion, prenatal care, and childbirth.”
  • Repeal 1931 law that bans/criminalizes abortion. (The 1931 ban’s only exception is to save the life of the pregnant person. Law is subject to a temporary injunction and is the subject of multiple lawsuits.)
  • Affirms the right to use permanent and/or temporary contraception.
  • No one can be prosecuted for having a miscarriage/ abortion/stillbirth or for providing abortion services or helping someone procure one.
  • State retains the ability to regulate/restrict abortions after point of fetal viability. There is no exact number of weeks specified.  State cannot ban abortions at any point if it is to save the life of the mother. “Fetal viability” and saving the life of the mother are determined by the health care professional. 

Opponents claim: RFFA would eliminate all restrictions that MI has voted into place, including the parental consent law for minors. It would allow any non-professional to perform an abortion and offer no recourse for botched abortions. It would allow up-to-delivery abortions for any reason.

Supporters say: RFFA would not impact existing restrictions such as parental consent laws or eliminate professional ethics and standards. Because there is no pre-determined number of weeks  for “fetal viability” this would protect viable fetuses as medical science improves. Fewer than .02% of abortions occur in the 3rd trimester and there is no reason to think this will increase. This would grant us the same protections that we had under Roe. Helps protect the separation of religion and government.

Debunking Disinformation: Prop 3 will not impact current parental consent laws. There is legal precedent supporting restricting the rights of minors. For example, we all have the right to purchase, own and operate a firearm. However this right is restricted for minors. The state maintains a compelling interest in regulating health care professionals and all ethical and professional standards still apply. Post-viability abortions are exceedingly rare and occur in extreme circumstances such as imminent threat to the mother’s life, or severe fetal anomalies. Only 2.5% of abortions occur in the 3rd trimester and this includes cases where the fetus is not viable. Prop 3 essentially provides the same protections we have had for 50 years under Roe. Despite critics claims to the contrary, passage of Prop 3 will have no impact on any of the following things: gender-affirming care, statutory rape and prostitution laws, human cloning, dilation and evacuation procedures, laws about who is allowed to perform abortions.

If Prop 3 passes, expect legal challenges.

Michigan Supreme Court:
Michigan Supreme Court elections are nonpartisan races. However, candidates are nominated by a political party at their party convention. Despite this, there is no party affiliation listed on the ballot.

This year there are 5 candidates listed. 

  • Nominated by the Democratic Party: Richard Bernstein (I) and Kyra Harris Bolden
  • Nominated by the Republican Party: Brian Zahra (I) and Paul Hudson
  • Nominated by the Libertarian Party: Kerry Lee Morgan 

Written by Nomi Joyrich, Director of Michigan Jews For A Secular Democracy and Organizer for Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network.