Michigan Election Law Changes: New AI Regulations, Early Voting, and More

2023-12-04 18:51:23

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed nearly two dozen bills last week that bring major changes to Michigan election laws, addressing voting registration, travel to the voting booth, and the use of artificial intelligence in political ads.

“We’ve taken Michigan from mediocre to a state that’s leading when it comes to protecting the right to vote, the franchise and protecting all the people who make it happen,” Gov. Whitmer said at a signing ceremony at the Detroit branch of the NAACP.

One of the new laws will require campaigns to flag ads that use artificial intelligence, which aims to combat misinformation, a rising concern for election officials ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

The new laws will also allot nine days of early voting, allow 16-year-olds to preregister before their 18th birthdays and provide automatic registration for released prisoners, the first law of its kind in the country, according to the advocacy group Voters Not Politicians.

The new laws also criminalize harassing election workers and decriminalize paying for rides to polling locations through apps such as Uber and Lyft. Michigan election law previously held that “a person shall not hire a motor vehicle” as transportation to a polling center unless they could not walk.

Written by Sophia Fox-Sowell
Sophia Fox-Sowell reports on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and government regulation for StateScoop. She was previously a multimedia producer for CNET, where her coverage focused on private sector innovation in food production, climate change and space through podcasts and video content. She earned her bachelor’s in anthropology at Wagner College and master’s in media innovation from Northeastern University.

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