Bill Text: MI HB5247 | 2019-2020 | 100th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Elections; local; nonpartisan township board elections; allow under certain circumstances. Amends secs. 345, 349, 355, 370, 370a, 697 & 699 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.345 et seq.) & adds secs. 345a, 349b, 356a & 357a.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-11-20 - Bill Electronically Reproduced 11/20/2019 [HB5247 Detail]

Download: Michigan-2019-HB5247-Introduced.html
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HOUSE BILL NO. 5247

November 13, 2019, Introduced by Reps. Yaroch and Lasinski and referred to the Committee on Elections and Ethics.

A bill to amend 1954 PA 116, entitled

"Michigan election law,"

by amending sections 345, 349, 355, 370, 370a, 697, and 699 (MCL 168.345, 168.349, 168.355, 168.370, 168.370a, 168.697, and 168.699), section 349 as amended by 2018 PA 654, section 355 as amended by 2013 PA 51, sections 370 and 370a as amended by 2014 PA 94, section 697 as amended by 2018 PA 226, and section 699 as amended by 2012 PA 523, and by adding sections 345a, 349b, 356a, and 357a.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 345. A Except as otherwise provided in section 345a, a primary of all political parties shall must be held in every organized township of this state on the Tuesday succeeding after the first Monday in August preceding before every general November election, at which time the qualified and registered electors of each political party may vote for party candidates for township offices.

Sec. 345a. (1) The board of trustees of a township may adopt a resolution to conduct nonpartisan elections for the offices of supervisor, clerk, treasurer, or trustee. If a board of trustees of a township adopts a resolution as provided in this section and the resolution is approved by a majority of the electors of the township voting on the resolution at the next regularly scheduled election of the township following the adoption of the resolution, the resolution takes effect on December 31 of the year in which the resolution is approved by the electors of the township.

(2) If a resolution is adopted and approved by the electors of a township as provided under subsection (1), a general nonpartisan primary must be held in that township on the Tuesday after the first Monday in August before every general November election at which a township supervisor, clerk, treasurer, and trustees are to be elected, at which time the qualified and registered electors may vote for nonpartisan candidates for the offices of township supervisor, clerk, treasurer, and trustee. If upon the expiration of the time for filing petitions for the nonpartisan primary election of a township office described in this section it appears that there are not to exceed twice the number of candidates as there are individuals to be elected, then the township clerk shall certify to the county clerk the name of the candidate for that township office whose petitions have been properly filed and that candidate is the nominee for that township office and must be so certified. As to that township office, there is no primary election and this township office must be omitted from the primary ballot.

Sec. 349. (1) To Except as otherwise provided in section 349b, to obtain the printing of the name of a person an individual as a candidate for nomination by a political party for a township office under the particular party heading upon the official primary ballots, there must be filed with the township clerk nominating petitions signed by a number of qualified and registered electors residing within the township as determined under section 544f. Nominating petitions must be in the form prescribed in section 544c. The township clerk shall receive nominating petitions up to 4 p.m. of the fifteenth Tuesday before the August primary.

(2) To Except as otherwise provided in section 349b, to obtain the printing of the name of a candidate of a political party under the particular party's heading upon the primary election ballots in the various voting precincts of the township, there may be filed by the candidate, in lieu of filing nominating petitions, a filing fee of $100.00 to be paid to the township clerk. Payment of the fee and certification of the candidate's name paying the fee are governed by the same provisions as in the case of nominating petitions. The fee must be deposited in the general fund of the township and must be refunded to candidates who are nominated and to an equal number of candidates who receive the next highest number of votes in the primary election. If 2 or more candidates tie in having the lowest number of votes allowing a refund, the sum of $100.00 must be divided among them. The deposits of all other defeated candidates, as well as the deposits of candidates who withdraw or are disqualified, are forfeited and the candidates must be notified of the forfeiture. Deposits forfeited under this section must be paid into and credited to the general fund of the township.

(3) Within Except as otherwise provided in section 349b, within 4 days after the last day for filing nominating petitions or a filing fee, the township clerk shall deliver to the county clerk a list setting forth the name, address, and political affiliation and office sought of each candidate who has qualified for a position on the primary ballot.

Sec. 349b. (1) This section only applies if a resolution is adopted by the board of trustees and approved by the electors of a township as provided in section 345a.

(2) To obtain the printing of the name of an individual as a candidate for nomination for a township office described in section 345a upon the official nonpartisan primary ballots, there must be filed with the township clerk nominating petitions signed by a number of qualified and registered electors residing within the township determined under section 544f. Nominating petitions must be in the form prescribed in section 544a. The township clerk shall receive nominating petitions up to 4 p.m. of the fifteenth Tuesday before the August primary.

(3) To obtain the printing of the name of an individual as a candidate for nomination for a township office described in section 345a upon the official nonpartisan primary ballots, there may be filed by the candidate, in lieu of filing nominating petitions, a filing fee of $100.00 to be paid to the township clerk. Payment of the fee and certification of the candidate's name paying the fee are governed by the same provisions as in the case of nominating petitions. The fee must be deposited in the general fund of the township and must be refunded to candidates who are nominated and to an equal number of candidates who receive the next highest number of votes in the primary election. If 2 or more candidates tie in having the lowest number of votes allowing a refund, the sum of $100.00 must be divided among them. The deposits of all other defeated candidates, as well as the deposits of candidates who withdraw or are disqualified, are forfeited and the candidates must be notified of the forfeiture. Deposits forfeited under this section must be paid into and credited to the general fund of the township.

(4) Within 4 days after the last day for filing nominating petitions or a filing fee, the township clerk shall deliver to the county clerk a list setting forth the name, address, and office sought for each candidate who has qualified for a position on the nonpartisan primary ballot.

Sec. 355. (1) The Except as otherwise provided in section 356a, the candidate or candidates of each political party to a township office receiving the greatest number of votes cast for candidates of that office, as set forth in the report of the board of county canvassers, based on the returns from the various election precincts, or as determined by the board of county canvassers as the result of a recount, shall must be declared the nominee or nominees of that political party for that office at the next ensuing November election. The board of county canvassers shall certify the nomination or nominations to the township clerk within 48 hours after the polls close.

(2) Within 4 days following the primary, the township clerk shall deliver to the county clerk a list setting forth the names, addresses, political affiliation, and office sought of all candidates nominated at the primary.

Sec. 356a. (1) This section only applies if a resolution is adopted by the board of trustees and approved by the electors of a township as provided in section 345a.

(2) The candidates for each township office described in section 345a receiving the largest number of votes at a nonpartisan primary election, to a number equal to twice the number of places to be filled as set forth in the report of the board of township canvassers, based on the returns from the various election precincts or as determined by the board of county canvassers as the result of a recount, must be declared the nominees for those township offices at the next November election. The board of county canvassers shall certify the nominations to the township clerk within 48 hours after the closing of the polls.

(3) Within 4 days following the nonpartisan primary, the township clerk shall deliver to the county clerk a list setting forth the name, address, and office sought of each candidate nominated at the nonpartisan primary.

Sec. 357a. (1) This section only applies if a resolution is adopted by the board of trustees and approved by the electors of a township as provided in section 345a.

(2) If there are fewer nominees for the office of supervisor, clerk, treasurer, or trustee than there are individuals to be elected because of the death or disqualification of a nominee less than 66 days before the general November election, then an individual shall not be elected at that general November election for that office for which there is no nominee.

Sec. 370. (1) Except as provided in section 370a or subsection (2), if a vacancy occurs in an elective or appointive township office, the vacancy shall must be filled by appointment by the township board, and the person appointed shall hold the office for the remainder of the unexpired term.

(2) If 1 or more vacancies occur in an elective township office that cause the number of members serving on the township board to be less than the minimum number of board members that is required to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business by the board, the board of county election commissioners shall make temporary appointment of the number of members required to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business by the township board. An official appointed under this subsection shall hold the office only until the official's successor is elected or appointed and qualified. An official who is temporarily appointed under this subsection shall not vote on the appointment of himself or herself to an elective or appointive township office.

(3) If a township official submits a written resignation from an elective township office, for circumstances other than a resignation related to a recall election, that specifies a date and time when the resignation is effective, the township board, within 30 days before that effective date and time, may appoint a person to fill the vacancy at the effective date and time of the resignation. The resigning official shall not vote on the appointment.

(4) Except as provided in subsection (5), if the township board does not make an appointment under subsection (3), or if a vacancy occurs in an elective township office and the vacancy is not filled by the township board or the board of county election commissioners within 45 days after the beginning of the vacancy, the county clerk of the county in which the township is located shall call a special election within 5 calendar days to fill the vacancy. Not Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, not later than 4 p.m. on the fifteenth calendar day after the county clerk calls a special election under this section, the township party committee for each political party in the township shall submit a nominee to fill the vacancy. If a resolution is adopted by the board of trustees and approved by the electors of a township as provided in section 345a, to obtain the printing upon the special election ballot of the name of an individual as a candidate for a vacant township office, there must be filed with the township clerk nominating petitions, in the form prescribed in section 544a, signed by a number of qualified and registered electors residing within the township determined under section 544f. If a resolution is adopted by the board of trustees and approved by the electors of a township as provided in section 345a, the township clerk shall receive nominating petitions for a vacant township office up to 4 p.m. on the fifteenth calendar day after the county clerk calls a special election under this section. Instead of filing nominating petitions, a candidate for a vacant township office may pay a filing fee of $100.00 to the township clerk. The fee must be deposited in the general fund of the township and must be refunded to candidates as provided in section 349b(3). Within 4 days after the last day for filing nominating petitions or a filing fee, the township clerk shall deliver to the county clerk a list setting forth the name and address of each candidate who has qualified to be placed on the special election ballot for that vacant township office. The special election shall must be held on the next regular election date that is not less than 60 days after the deadline for submitting nominees under this section or 70 days after the deadline for submitting nominees under this section if the next regular election date is the even year August primary or the general November election. Notice of the special election shall must be given in the same manner required by section 653a. A special election called under this section does not affect the rights of a qualified elector to register for any other election. A person An individual elected to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply to the office of township constable. If a vacancy occurs in the office of township constable, the township board shall determine if and when the vacancy shall must be filled by appointment. If the township board does not fill the vacancy by appointment, the office of township constable shall remain remains vacant until the next general or special election in which township offices are filled.

Sec. 370a. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 370, if a vacancy occurs in an elective or appointive township office, which vacancy is filled by appointment by the township board or the board of county election commissioners and the vacancy occurs more than 7 days before the nominating petition filing deadline as provided in section 349 or 349b for the general November election that is not the general November election at which a successor in office would be elected if no vacancy, then the person individual appointed shall hold holds office only until a successor is elected at the next general November election in the manner provided by law and qualifies for office. The successor shall hold holds the office for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Sec. 697. At the general November election, the names of the several offices to be voted for must be placed on the ballot substantially in the following order in the years in which elections for those offices are held: Electors of President and Vice President of the United States; governor and lieutenant governor; secretary of state; attorney general; United States Senator; Representative in Congress; senator and representative in the state legislature; members of the state board of education; regents of the University of Michigan; trustees of Michigan State University; governors of Wayne State University; county executive; prosecuting attorney; sheriff; clerk; treasurer; register of deeds; mine inspector in counties electing a mine inspector; county road commissioners; drain commissioners; coroners; and surveyor. The Except as otherwise provided under section 699(2), the following township officers must be placed on the same ballot as above described in substantially the following order in the year in which elections for those offices are held: supervisor, clerk, treasurer, trustees, and constables.

Sec. 699. (1) At Subject to section (2), at any regular election, the names of the several nonpartisan offices to be voted for shall must be placed on a separate portion of the ballot containing no party designation in the following order: justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of appeals, judges of the circuit court, judges of the probate court, judges of the district court, community college board of trustees member, intermediate school district board member, city officers, the following village officers in substantially the following order in the year in which elections for the offices are held: president, clerk, treasurer, and trustees, and in a year in which an election for the office is held, local school district board member, metropolitan district officer, and district library board member.

(2) If a resolution is adopted by the board of trustees and approved by the electors of a township as provided in section 345a, the names of the nonpartisan township offices to be voted must be placed on a separate portion of the ballot containing no party designation as provided in subsection (1) and must appear after city officers and before village officers.

Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect 90 days after the date it is enacted into law.

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