Vote by mail or online

Voting by mail or by Internet in school elections would be tested in at least six Michigan locations if lawmakers adopt a bill introduced by Sen. Michael Switalski, D-Roseville, in June. Senate Bill 1412 would require the Secretary of State to establish a pilot project to offer mail or Internet voting, or a combination, in cases when there is only one question on the ballot in a school election.

The pilot would have to include rural and urban schools in diverse parts of the state. The Secretary of State would have to report to the Legislature by 2011 on the costs of the elections, voter participation, security and any concerns raised by the participating districts. The Secretary of State also would be allowed to adopt a mail/Internet voting plan submitted by the school district itself.,/p>

The bill was referred to the Senate Campaign & Election Oversight Committee.

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Require Internet safety class

Michigan public school districts and charter public schools would have to teach Internet safety at all grade levels as of 2009-2010 under legislation introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy, and in the House of Representatives by Rep. David Law, R-West Bloomfield. Each version would require the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Michigan State Police and other state agencies to develop or adopt a model program for schools to use.

The bills were referred to the Senate and House education committees, respectively.

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College license plates

Community colleges could sport their own specialty license plates under House Bill 6213, introduced by Rep. Michael Sak, D-Grand Rapids, in June. The bill would require the Secretary of State to develop fund-raising license plates at the community college’s request. The colleges would be exempt from paying the $15,000 start-up fee that other entities are required to pay. Redesigns would be allowed every three years at a cost of $2,000.

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