Home » News » Member News » Governor signs Vaupel’s bill removing vignettes from ballot

Governor signs Vaupel’s bill removing vignettes from ballot

Governor signs Vaupel’s bill removing vignettes from ballot

State Rep. Hank Vaupel’s legislation to remove outdated political party icons from the ballot has been signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Small images representing political parties, called vignettes, have appeared on ballots in Michigan since the the 1890s, Vaupel said, but elections have improved since then and the icons are no longer needed to aid illiterate voters. For example, each precinct is now required to offer access to an AutoMARK voter assistance machine, which is equipped with headphones and has the ability to read ballots aloud.

“As you can imagine, ballots have evolved quite a bit over the last 120 years,” said Vaupel, of Fowlerville. “The placement of the icons has changed and they have gotten too small for people to identify who or what is depicted in the picture. It’s gotten to the point where vignettes are doing more harm than good.”

Vaupel said some voters incorrectly believe circling the icon is all they have to do to cast a straight-ticket vote.

“When people make that mistake their vote doesn’t count,” Vaupel said. “Removing the unnecessary images will eliminate the confusion and help ensure that every vote counts.”

Livingston County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley worked with Vaupel on the legislation and recently joined him to testify before the Elections and Ethics Committee.

House Bill 4177 is now Public Act 113 of 2017.

Leave a Reply