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Rep. Bollin working on solution for communities in need of more options for polling places
RELEASE|May 27, 2022
Contact: Ann Bollin

The House Elections and Ethics Committee this week approved a plan introduced by state Rep. Ann Bollin to help local communities that are struggling to find suitable locations to conduct elections.

Throughout the state, many schools and churches that previously served as polling locations are no longer interested in hosting elections, and local clerks are finding it more difficult to secure enough polling places. Bollin, a former Brighton Township clerk, is sponsoring House Bill 6071 to expand their options.

“When it comes to finding a suitable polling location that is accessible to voters, our communities have very few options,” Bollin said. “If we run into a situation where a school or a church can’t open its doors for an election, it puts clerks in a very challenging situation.”

Currently, school buildings, fire stations, police stations and other publicly owned buildings must be used as polling locations. If it is not possible or convenient to use a publicly owned building, a township or city may opt to use a building owned by a nonprofit entity.

House Bill 6071 would expand the options to include a privately owned building such as a banquet center or a recreation clubhouse, as long as the building is not owned by a candidate for office or someone who runs a political action committee. Bollin said this reform has long been a priority for Michigan’s municipal clerks.

The measure received unanimous approval from the committee on Tuesday, advancing it to the full House for further consideration.

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