Proposed law would ban public officials from remote voting

Feb 8, 2012

A bill in the State House would ban elected and appointed officials from voting by teleconference or the Internet.

Representative Richard LeBlanc says technology like Skype is great for a lot of things, but replacing in-person voting isn’t one of them.

LeBlanc says Michigan’s Open Meetings Act does not address remote voting because the technology wasn’t around when the act was drafted.

He believes state lawmakers, school board members, city and township councils need to participate in person.

"You can't get the same sense or flavor of an issue if you're not engaged directly in the process," LeBlanc says.

LeBlanc says if an elected or appointed official has a good reason for being absent during a vote, the public will understand.

He says Attorney General Bill Schuette helped draft the bill to provide clarity to the state’s Open Meetings Act.