The rules protect the health, safety, and welfare and promote a regulatory environment in Michigan that is the least
burdensome alternative because it provides additional methods for obtaining ballots and attempts to remove or lessen
existing barriers. For example, current practice requires voters download and print the absent voter ballot application.
After completion, the form is mailed to the voter’s local clerk. By allowing submission online, certain barriers (such
as printing and mailing) are limited.
9. Describe any rules in the affected rule set that are obsolete or unnecessary and can be rescinded.
There are no affected rules in this rule set that are obsolete or unnecessary.
Fiscal Impact on the Agency
Fiscal impact is an increase or decrease in expenditures from the current level of expenditures, i.e. hiring additional staff,
higher contract costs, programming costs, changes in reimbursements rates, etc. over and above what is currently
expended for that function. It does not include more intangible costs for benefits, such as opportunity costs, the value of
time saved or lost, etc., unless those issues result in a measurable impact on expenditures.
10. Please provide the fiscal impact on the agency (an estimate of the cost of rule imposition or potential savings
for the agency promulgating the rule).
It is not expected that the promulgation of rules will have a fiscal impact on the agency promulgating the rules or the
Department of State.
11. Describe whether or not an agency appropriation has been made or a funding source provided for any
expenditures associated with the proposed rules.
No agency appropriation has been made, and no funding source has been provided, as it is not anticipated that the
Department of State will have any expenditures associated with the proposed rules.
12. Describe how the proposed rules are necessary and suitable to accomplish their purpose, in relationship to the
burden(s) the rules place on individuals. Burdens may include fiscal or administrative burdens, or duplicative
The proposed rules are necessary to expand access to the right for Michigan voters to vote via an absent voter ballot
without providing a reason. Voters will be able to request an absent voter ballot through an online portal and be
verified through the Department of State. The rules will not place a burden on voters or clerks as applications
submitted online will be handled in the same manner as applications submitted via paper. There is no additional
A. Despite the identified burden(s), identify how the requirements in the rules are still needed and reasonable
compared to the burdens.
There are no identified burdens.
Impact on Other State or Local Governmental Units
13. Estimate any increase or decrease in revenues to other state or local governmental units (i.e. cities, counties,
school districts) as a result of the rule. Estimate the cost increases or reductions for other state or local
governmental units (i.e. cities, counties, school districts) as a result of the rule. Include the cost of equipment,
supplies, labor, and increased administrative costs in both the initial imposition of the rule and any ongoing
There are no estimated increases or decreases in revenues to other state or local governmental units.
14. Discuss any program, service, duty, or responsibility imposed upon any city, county, town, village, or school
district by the rules.
Under Michigan Election Law, local clerks are responsible for processing absent voter ballot applications. Those
applications currently come in paper format or an online format established in 2020. The proposed rule set codifies
existing practice which allows voters to submit an absent voter ballot application online to the Department of State.
The platform verifies the voter is registered and eligible to vote. The voter must complete the application by
providing their name, address, driver’s license number, and last four of their social security number. Once validated
against the voter’s driver’s license, the Department sends the request for an absent voter ballot to the voter’s city or
township clerk through the Qualified Voter File. The rule would require local clerks to process online requests for
absent voter ballots in the same manner as they would process an application submitted via paper.