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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Michigan's Democracy in question as, Public Act #4 petition is rejected by 2-2 vote of Board of Canvassers


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The Stand Up for Democracy Team Michigan's efforts to place Controversial statue, Michigan Public Act #4 on the ballot were rejected on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 ballot, as the four member partisan board voted 2-2 along Republican and Democratic lines.

Herbert Sanders, legal council for the Stand Up for Democracy Team vowed to challenge ad-hoc group 'Citizens for Fiscal Democracy' petition font and paper sizes arguments in Michigan's Appellate Court.
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"We I'm confident that the law is on our side. And I hopeful that we will have a impartial panel that will be concerned with justice, not just-us, so that's what we're seeking,' Attorney Sanders stated. "We're are ready to fight this argument all the way to the (U.S.) Supreme Court."
Edith Pain a resident of Benton Harbor addressed Canvassers about validity of Citizens of Fiscal Responsibly team challenge to supersede people will to vote on P.A.#4.
 "I marched with Martin Luther King. People died and sacrifice for the right to vote, that this Citizen for Fiscal Responsibly Team seeks to take away," Pain replied.
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Attorney Sanders replied to a question that if two Republican members of Michigan's Board of Canvassers, Norman Shinkle and Jeffery Timmer, bought into 'Citizens for Fiscal Democracy' debate on improper font size was valid.
"I believe that this was a denial based upon political allegiance, and not a denial based upon the substance of the petitions. There is nothing wrong with the petitions," Sanders replied.  "The petitions clearly comply with law to the letter; but minimally substantially comply to the law, which is the standard. So I'm confident this was not about the standard of the petition and instead about party allegiance," he stated.
Canvasser Shinkle's background include services as Deputy Chairman of Michigan's Republican Party and Republican State Committee explained his reasons behind rejecting Stand Up for Democracy's petitions.

"None of this would occurred today if they had their petitions approved, like almost everyone else does. The petition was defective. Now the question comes down to substantial compliance of the law or strict compliance. Now there's two sides on that. We just had a big case two years ago that the courts had strict compliance. So its' not a settled thing under shall it be a 14 font, so that's why I voted against it."
ROJS News was able to inquire about Board of Canvassers member Norman Shinkle's ties to any political group, hereby swaying his decision if Michigan's citizens should vote to affirm or deny Public Act #4.

"I have and for all my life been a Republican," Canvasser Shinkle replied.

Sanders argued to the Board of Canvassers, a previous case before the Michigan Court of Appeals Bloomfield Charter v.s. Oakland County Clerk from September 6, 2002. He defended this case sets legal precedent, on questions about petitions' approval. In this case, Michigan Appellate Court ruled in favor of the people right to vote.
"In Bloomfield Charter v.s. Oakland County Clerk, Michigan Court of Appeals case that is still good law. This case is good law and directly on point, In this case, a challenge in regards to the warning language in the petition was rejected, the court stated in addressing this issue, 'As a general principle, all doubts as to technical deficiencies or failure to comply with the exact letter of procedural requirements are resolved in favor of permitting the people to vote and express their will on any proposal subject to election', Sanders noted.
"With such, all doubts should be dismissed and permit the people to vote. If we are wrong then Democracy is wrong " 
Bruce Hack, a professional printer, certified before the Board, that his belief the 'Stand Up for Democracy' team petitions were in compliance with state law.
"I have worked in printing all my life. When you are talking about font type, you're talking about a 8th of a inch," Hack noted. "When I was asked to sign the affidavit, I used a program called PDF suite to verify the font was 14 point. There is no way that you can measure a capital letter and determine what the font size is."
Mary Valentine of Benton Harbor asked for the Board of Canvassers to honor Michigan's citizens Constitutional rights to vote.
"Will the citizens constitutional right to a vote be honored?," Valentine questioned "It is your right to protect this Constitution. Put this referendum on the ballot, thank you".
Linda Hasson of Pontiac replied that members' on the Board of Canvassers 'party loyalty' ties shouldn't have came before allowing citizen's to vote up or down on Public Act #4, according to Michigan's founding document, the state Constitution.
"Party loyalty is no excuse for disrespecting our states Constitution,' Hasson stated. "Something does seem right to me, I believe I'll have to go bigger because my Government is big right now."
At the end of the meeting, over 100 Michigan voters in the audience erupted in cries of "Shame, Shame, Shame", at the decision rejection decision by the Board of Canvassers.

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