WASHINGTON, D.C.—Republicans in the Michigan State Senate proposed a new bill in committee on Wednesday that would require ballots to stop being counted at noon the day after Election Day. SB 299 is a short, 2-page bill, and it requires that a statement of returns be delivered to a town or city clerk by noon the day after an election—meaning less than 24 hours after polls close—regardless of whether all ballots have been counted or not.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson testified in front of the Senate Elections Committee that the bill was an unjustifiable attempt to codify the Big Lie that Republicans across the country have been promoting since the 2020 election. She referenced intimidation efforts in Detroit last fall, when partisan vote challengers were yelling “stop the count” in a ploy to prevent all legal votes from being counted in the pivotal swing state. “The one person, one vote promise is the central tenet of our elections and the inspiration for democracies across the globe,” she said. “Yet this bill would enable unofficial results to be released before every valid vote is counted, robbing countless citizens of their constitutional right to vote and allowing countless more conspiracy theories and falsehoods about election results to flourish.”