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Michigan State Rep. Ann Bollin introduced a plan to help prevent voter fraud in the state by making it a felony to knowingly fill out an absentee ballot application with another person’s information.

The plan was introduced on Monday, June 23.

Bollin said when the Secretary of State completed a mass mailing of absent voter ballot applications this year, many applications were sent to deceased voters and other people who no longer live at the address where the applications were sent.

“By sending out unsolicited absentee ballot applications to deceased and non-resident voters, the Secretary of State has created a situation that could make our elections vulnerable to fraud,” Bollin said. “Some residents have reported receiving applications for people who have not lived at their address for 10 years or more. Thankfully, many were honest and informed their local clerks of the error, but how can we be certain others won’t try to gain access to an extra ballot or two. We must send a strong message that voter fraud will not be tolerated in Michigan, regardless of how temping the Secretary of State has made it.”

According to Bollin, state law currently classifies making a false statement on an absent voter application as a misdemeanor. Under House Bills 5880-81, a person who knowingly submits an absent voter application using another person’s name or personal identification information would be guilty of a felony. She said it would also be a felony to complete applications with the intent to receive multiple ballots.

The plan has been referred to the House Elections and Ethics Committee for consideration.

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