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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Repeal of Michigan Public Act #4, a step closer as state Bureau of Elections verifies signature count

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The fight to repeal Michigan's Public Act #4 is closer to the finish line, as one step in the validation and verification process of the Michigan Bureau of Elections is complete.

Michigan's Bureau of Elections, a division of Michigan Secretary of State Office, verified to ROJS News the receipt of 225,885 signatures was submitted in a effort to repeal Michigan Public Act #4. Stage two, the verification process of each signature submitted, will take place over next thirty days.

In April, Bureau of Election staff will verify each signature submitted meets the following tests:
  1. The signatory was a U.S. Citizen.
  2. The signatory was registered as a valid potential voter in Michigan prior to or on the day of signing the petition.
  3. The signatory was 18 or above, at the time of signing the petition.
  4. The signatory was registered to vote in their county of residence prior to or on the day of signing the petition.
  5. The signatory completed serving any state or federal imposed jail or prison sentence prior to or on the day of signing the petition.
MCL 168.758b reads: "A person who, in a court of this or another state or in a federal court, has been legally convicted and sentenced for a crime for which the penalty imposed is confinement in jail or prison shall not vote, offer to vote, attempt to vote, or be permitted to vote at an election while confined."
Stand Up for Democracy Team, seeking to overturn Michigan Public Act #4 estimated over 226,000 signatures was submitted to the Bureau of Elections on February 29th. ROJS News was the only Michigan Media Blog resource in the state present, when signatures arrived at the Richard H. Austin building in Lansing, Michigan, where the state Bureau of Elections is housed.

ROJS News confirmed with Fred Woodhams - Media Communications contact with Michigan Bureau of Elections- on March 29th the validation process going forward.
"The Bureau of Elections have verified 225,885 signatures from the original estimate on submitted by the Stand Up for Democracy team on February 29th, 2012", Woodhams stated. Over the next thirty days, the Bureau of Elections will verify the validity of each signature with Michigan registered voter rolls. 
 "Once the signatures are verified, the petitions will go before the State Board of Canvassers panel to verify if a referendum petition vote would be placed on the November 6th general election ballot," Woodhams verified. 
A 'challenge test' on behalf of groups or individuals who seek to keep Public Act #4 as state law, can take place up to 10 days after the Michigan Bureau of Elections verifies the finalized referendum petition signature count. A minimum of 161,305 validated signatures, and affirmation by the State Board of Canvassers is required before Michigan's registered voters can decide to keep or repeal Public Act #4 during the General Election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

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