MICHIGAN ELECTION LAW (EXCERPT)
Act 116 of 1954
168.696 Printing name of candidate for federal, state, district, county, and township offices on 1 ballot; separate column; filing request for clarifying designation of same or similar surnames; notice of determination; appeal; printing occupation, date of birth, or residence of candidate; incumbency designation; guidelines.
(1) The board of election commissioners in each county shall have the name of each candidate for federal, state, district, county, and township offices at an election printed on 1 ballot, separate from any other ballot. The name of each candidate of each political party shall be placed in a separate column on the ballot under the name and vignette of the party with the name of each candidate opposite the name of the office for which the candidate was certified to have been nominated.
(2) If, in a district that is a county or entirely within 1 county, 2 or more candidates nominated by the same political party or by different political parties for the same office, or nonpartisan candidates for the same office, have the same or similar surnames, a candidate may file a written request with the board of county election commissioners for a clarifying designation. The request shall be filed not later than 3 days after the certification of the relevant candidates. Not later than 3 days after the filing of the request, the board of county election commissioners shall determine whether a similarity exists and whether a clarifying designation should be granted. In a district located in more than 1 county, the board of state canvassers shall make a determination whether to grant a clarifying designation upon the written request of a candidate who is certified by the secretary of state. The request shall be filed with the state board of canvassers not later than 3 days after the state board of canvassers completes the canvass of the primary election in compliance with section 581 and the certification of nominees in compliance with section 687. The board of state canvassers shall make its determination not later than 3 days after the request is filed.
(3) In each instance, the determining board shall immediately notify each candidate for the same office as the requester that a request for a clarifying designation has been made and of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The requester and each candidate for the same office shall be notified of the board's determination by first-class mail sent within 24 hours after the final date for the determination. A candidate who is dissatisfied with the determination of the board of county election commissioners may file an appeal in the circuit court of the county where the board is located. A candidate who is dissatisfied with the determination of the board of state canvassers may file an appeal in the Ingham county circuit court. The appeal shall be filed within 14 days after the final date for determination by the board. The court shall hear the matter de novo. Except as provided in subsection (4), in the case of the same surname or of a final determination by the board or by the court before the latest date that the board can arrange for the ballot printing of the existence of similarity, the board shall print the occupation, date of birth, or residence of each of the candidates having the same or similar surnames on the ballot or ballot labels or slips to be placed on the voting machine, when used, under their respective names. The request may not be made by a candidate of a political party whose candidate for secretary of state received less than 10% of the total vote cast in the state for all candidates for secretary of state in the most recent November election in which a secretary of state was elected. The term “occupation” includes a currently held political office, even though it is not the candidate's principal occupation, but does not include reference to a previous position or occupation.
(4) If there are 2 candidates with the same or similar surnames and 1 of the candidates is entitled to an incumbency designation by section 24 of article VI of the state constitution of 1963, no other designation shall be provided for the other candidate with the same or similar surname. If there are more than 2 candidates with the same or similar surname and 1 of the candidates is entitled to an incumbency designation by section 24 of article VI of the state constitution of 1963, a clarifying designation may be given to the other candidates with the same or similar surname. Except for an incumbency designation under section 24 of article VI of the state constitution of 1963, if 2 or more candidates with the same or similar surnames are related, the board shall only print the residence or date of birth of each of the candidates as a clarifying designation. As used in this subsection, “related” means that the candidates with the same or similar surnames are related within the third degree of consanguinity.
(5) The board of state canvassers shall issue guidelines to ensure fairness and uniformity in the granting of designations and may issue guidelines relating to what constitutes the same or similar surnames. The board of state canvassers and the boards of county election commissioners shall follow the guidelines.
History: 1954, Act 116, Eff. June 1, 1955
Am. 1966, Act 328, Imd. Eff. July 19, 1966
Am. 1967, Act 36, Eff. Nov. 2, 1967
Am. 1976, Act 260, Imd. Eff. Aug. 12, 1976
Am. 2002, Act 163, Imd. Eff. Apr. 9, 2002
Compiler's Notes: This section was also amended by Act 240 of 1964, but that act was disapproved by the voters at the November election in 1964.
Popular Name: Election Code
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