Michigan Election Guide 2022: Races, Proposals and Voting Options

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The 2022 Michigan General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8. With just days away, registered voters are gearing up to decide on what is predicted to be monumental key races and statewide ballot proposals during the midterm election.  

Here’s a look at some of the essential resources and voter information to help Michigan’s 7.7 million registered voters feel prepared and informed as each performs their civic duty and makes their voices heard.  

Hot Button Races 

One of the biggest races of Michigan’s election season is for the gubernatorial seat between incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican candidate Tudor Dixon.  

From targeted television adverts to two debates, Whitmer and Dixon have clashed on several critical issues, including abortion rights and road repair. Whitmer continues to be a vocal supporter of petition-driven ballot Proposal 3, which would amend the state’s constitution to guarantee abortion rights. 

Dixon maintains a conservative stance against the referendum. At the Tuesday, October 25, debate at Oakland University, Dixon said Proposal 3’s voter approval “would be the most radical abortion law in the entire country. The only place that has something similar is China and North Korea.”  

Additionally, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, both Democrats, are up for reelection against Republicans Matthew DePerno and Kristina Karamo, respectively.  

Residents will have a chance to weigh in on their legislative representatives as Michigan’s 13th Congressional House and State Senate and House seats are also up for grabs.  

Other Wayne County leadership positions will be decided, including challenges to incumbents Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Wayne County Sheriff Ralph Washington.  

Michigan Statewide Ballot Proposals (1-3) 

  • Proposal 1: Term Limits and Financial Disclosure for Legislators and State Officers 

A proposal for a constitutional amendment to change the term limits for state legislators from three 2-year terms (6 years) in the state House and two 4-year terms (8 years) in the state Senate to 12 combined years in the legislature. 

Proposal 1 would replace Proposal B’s (ratified in 1992) state legislative term limits with a new requirement — a combined 12 years in the state legislature. This year’s ballot measure would make an exception for people elected to the state Senate in 2022, allowing winning candidates to serve the 12 years regardless of prior legislative offices.  

Additionally, Prop 1’s amendment seeks to address conflicts of interest in state government. Approval of Prop 1 will provide that elected state legislative and state executive officials must file annual financial disclosure reports after 2023 on their income, assets, liabilities, gifts from lobbyists, positions held in certain organizations and agreements on future employment. 

  • Proposal 2: Voting Policies (Right to Vote) 

A proposal supporting safeguard provisions to several election and voting-related policies in the Michigan Constitution, including: 

  • creating a nine-day early voting period;  
  • allowing voters to present photo identification or sign an affidavit when voting in person or applying for an absentee ballot; 
  • requiring that military and overseas ballots postmarked by election day are counted; 
  • providing voters with a right to request an absentee ballot; 
  • requiring the state to fund prepaid stamps and a tracking system for absentee ballots; 
  • requiring the state to fund a number of absentee ballot drop boxes; 
  • providing that local governments can accept charitable and in-kind donations to assist with running elections as long as donations are disclosed and aren’t from foreign entities; and 
  • providing that election officials are responsible for election audits, requiring election audits to be conducted in public, and requiring election results to be certified based on votes cast. 


Additionally, Proposal 2 would add constitutional language stating harassment, threats or intimidating conduct and laws, regulations and practices that interfere with a person’s right to vote are prohibited.  

This proposal seeks to specify and clarify voting-related rights and provide that citizens have standing to bring legal action to enforce the provisions in Circuit Court.  

  • Proposal 3: Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative (RFFA) 

Proposal 3 will arguably be the most watched proposal on the ballot in the 2022 election. After Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022, the right to access an abortion was left to the discretion of the states.  

Under Michigan’s penal code of Act 328 of the 1931 prevailing law, abortion is banned at the state level (without exception for rape or incest) and could become enforceable. Several stop-gap measures have since been enacted to keep the old law benign, including an injunction by Michigan Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher and a lawsuit filed by Gov. Whitmer.  

After a brief deadlock decision by the Michigan Board of Canvassers in August, the governing body of certifying elections voted to approve a referendum of the statewide campaign petition of over 750,000 signatures supporting abortion rights. 

On November 8, registered voters can guarantee reproductive rights are legally protected by establishing a new individual right to reproductive freedom, including the right to make all decisions about pregnancy and abortion; allow the state to regulate abortion in some cases; and forbid prosecution of individuals exercising established rights. 

The initiated constitutional amendment would forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right; prohibit prosecution of an individual, or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment; and invalidate state laws conflicting with this amendment (i.e., the prevailing 1931 law). 

2022 Detroit Voting Options:  Absentee vs. In-person  

Michiganders have several quick and easy options to cast their vote during this election. 

Early and in-person voting started on September 29 at your local election clerk’s office by filling out an absentee ballot. All registered voters can request an absentee ballot for any reason and vote from home. According to the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections, an estimated 1.3 million registered voters are on the permanent absent voter list. 

Traditional in-person voting will be open on election day at an individual’s assigned polling location. Polls will be open Tuesday, November 8. from 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  

Voter registration deadlines via mail and online expired on Monday, October 24. In-person registration is still open throughout election day on November 8. You can confirm your voter registration status on Michigan’s election website 

Detroit’s ‘Early Vote Centers’ opened on Monday, October 17, with 13 satellite locations. Absentee ballots can be turned in at any of the centers or alternatively at Detroit’s seven drop box sites across the city.  

Registered voters are required by law to present voter identification (i.e., driver’s license or state ID) or a signed affidavit before voting in person.  

For a full list of 2022 Michigan candidates and proposals, check out mielections.us/election/candlist/2022GEN_CANDLIST.html.  

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