Thursday, September 1, 2022

Refusing valid political petitions

Michigan is frustrating. It is partially progressive and partially backwards conservative. The new politicalization of elections has made a bad situation untenable.

Michigan (like California) has a public initiative system to bring items to a state wide vote. But, unlike California, the Republicans are being huge dicks.

To be approved on the ballot, the imitative seekers need to get 450,000 signatures. The initiative to keep abortion legal (and to prevent a 1931 law from going into effect) got 730,000 signatures. The initiative to protect voting rights got about 600,000 votes. All the petitions must be approved by the Canvasing Board, made up of 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats. BUT the 2 Republicans on the 4 person canvasing board blocked both initiatives. 


The canvasing board petitions for Reproductive Freedom for All were rejected to get to a point of 430,000 signatures. In rejecting 300,000 signatures and making the total too low to be on the ballot, the Republicans used this reasoning. Because some petitions had extra spaces in the petition itself, they were all invalid. And no, you could not find the differences by looking - you had to measure. 

By the by, the two Republicans on the board are both men, deciding women should not have body autonomy. The two Democrats on the board are both women. Republican men in particular seem to love to tell women what they have to do.

The canvasing board petitions for Voting Rights Expansion got around that by using Board Approved petitions. But, after they were submitted with a few hundred thousand extra signatures, again AFTER collection, the canvassing board said this set of signatures were invalid because the petition did not specify EVERY Michigan Constitutional law that would be affected. Again, the petition signature form was approved for signatures by this same board.

Democracy dies at the hands of Republicans.

LINKS ("show your work"):

Associated Press New story about the Reproductive Freedom for All act.

Detroit Free Press story about the Reproductive Freedom for All act.

Detroit Free Press story on the contortions to spike the Voting Rights Expansion act.

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