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Livingston County officials join Rep. Vaupel and Governor Snyder for bill-signing ceremony

State Rep. Hank Vaupel, Livingston County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley and retired Livingston County Elections Coordinator Joan Runyon joined Gov. Rick Snyder for a bill-signing ceremony Tuesday in Lansing.

The local officials played a key role in helping Vaupel develop legislation to remove outdated political party icons from ballots in Michigan.

“Elizabeth and Joan approached me with concerns that these icons, called vignettes, were doing more harm than good,” said Vaupel, of Fowlerville. “They said some voters could incorrectly circle one of the icons in an attempt to cast a straight-ticket vote. If a voter makes that mistake their vote doesn’t count, and that’s a serious problem.”

Legislation they helped Vaupel develop eliminates confusion by removing the icons, called political vignettes, from ballots.

Vignettes first appeared on Michigan ballots in the 1890s, Vaupel said, but elections have improved since then, and the placement of the icons no longer serves as an aid to voters. In addition, each precinct is now required to offer access to an AutoMARK voter assistance machine, which has the ability to read ballots to illiterate voters.

House Bill 4177 is now Public Act 113 of 2017.

 

PHOTO INFORMATION: From left, retired Livingston County Elections Coordinator Joan Runyon and Livingston County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley joined Gov. Rick Snyder, state Rep. Hank Vaupel and Legislative Director Cindy Denby in Lansing Tuesday for a ceremonial bill-signing event. Hundley and Runyon helped Vaupel craft legislation to eliminate a source of confusion for voters in Michigan.

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