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Signature Gathering Restrictions Challenge Filed with MI Court of Appeals

Op Ed by Progress Michigan

MICHIGAN, August 2, 2021: On Friday, groups including Progress Michigan, Michiganders for Fair and Transparent Elections and the League of Women Voters filed an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals over part of a law that would restrict Michiganders’ ability to sign citizen-initiated ballot initiatives. 
 

PA 608 was adopted by the Republican legislature in late 2018 after progressive causes had success at the ballot through Proposals 1, 2 and 3. Progress Michigan and others filed suit in the Court of Claims earlier this year to remove the restrictions on the process that the legislature adopted at that time. 

The Court struck down PA 608’s cap on petition signatures of 15 percent per congressional district and the requirement that paid circulators disclose their status on petitions. The Court upheld requiring paid circulators to file an affidavit before circulating petitions. Progress Michigan and the other plaintiffs will defend the Court’s decision on the first two provisions and seek to overturn the latter decision.

“With the passage of PA 608, Republicans sought to trample on the rights of Michiganders to have their voices heard through the ballot initiative process. This law hurts the right of people to circulate petitions and was only enacted to stop progressive policies from making it to the ballot,” said Sam Inglot, deputy director of Progress Michigan. “Right now, Republicans are waging a war against the voices of the people on two fronts, at the ballot box and through the petition process, and we plan to fight them on both.” 

“We look forward to making our case in court and hope to get a decisive ruling that protects the ability of all Michiganders to use the ballot initiative process without barriers,” said Hank Mayers with Michiganders for Fair and Transparent Elections. “The ballot initiative process is a way for all Michiganders to have their voices heard and enact policies that deserves to be protected from partisan roadblocks.”

 

New Poll: Michiganders Weigh In On Anti-Voter Bills, COVID

Newsletter examines public opinion about issues affecting the state

On Monday, Progress Michigan released the latest edition of Lake Effect, a monthly research newsletter that tracks Michigan voters’ opinions about policy issues affecting the state.

“Despite the GOP’s best efforts, the majority of Michiganders aren’t buying the election lies and conspiracy theories Republican lawmakers have used as an excuse to push anti-voter bills,” said Sam Inglot, deputy director of Progress Michigan. “They also understand the need to continue to adapt as the COVID pandemic progresses and are willing and ready to do what’s necessary to contain the spread of the Delta variant. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan remains popular among Michiganders, a majority of whom support raising taxes on the wealthy to fund changes that will benefit our communities. It’s past time for Michigan Republicans to ditch their attacks on our freedom to vote and get to work on the priorities Michiganders actually care about.”

Some key takeaways include:

  • Only 41 percent of respondents strongly or somewhat support Michigan Republicans’ anti-voter bill package, while 50 percent strongly or somewhat oppose their efforts.
  • 56 percent of respondents plan to wear masks in accordance with the latest CDC guidance, 62 percent know that the COVID vaccines are safe, and 65 percent are fully vaccinated.
  • 56 percent of those polled strongly or somewhat disapprove of the Republican-led legislature’s handling of COVID. Just 37 percent strongly or somewhat approve.
  • 73 percent of respondents know someone who has had the coronavirus and 45 percent have had someone they know die of the coronavirus.
  • 68 percent of those polled think the wealthy don’t pay enough taxes, compared to only 23 percent who believe they’re paying their fair share.
  • 51 percent of respondents said they’re very or somewhat unlikely to support former Detroit police chief James Craig in his bid for governor, while only 27 percent are very or somewhat likely to support him.

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2021 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/03/21 18:14:11 -0700.

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