Lawmaker wants rules protecting election integrity upheld in proposal drives

LANSING, Mich. — Today State Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D–Meridian Twp.) highlighted Protecting Michigan Taxpayers’ (PMT) botched petition drive to repeal prevailing wage as a prime example of why voter protections are necessary.

“Our democracy demands a secure elections process free from harassment and lies. I strongly urge my Republican colleagues to consider Senate Bill 535,” said Sen. Hertel, who is sponsoring the bill.

The proposed legislation would establish penalties for people who falsify or misrepresent the contents of ballot questions, initiatives, referendums, recall petitions or constitutional amendments — and for those who fail to disclose whether they are being paid to gather signatures.

According to state elections officials, approximately half of PMT’s 388,000 submitted signatures were invalid. This announcement, in conjunction with reports of alleged petition gatherer misconduct, prompted Sen. Hertel to reiterate calls for legislative action.

“Michiganders deserve the full truth when they’re considering serious measures that will impact their futures,” Sen. Hertel said.

Despite concerns regarding the collected signature, PMT pressed forward and requested state review. This process not only wasted taxpayer dollars; it also nearly managed to hoodwink state officials into putting the measure before the Legislature.

Sen. Hertel’s legislation would help ensure Michiganders can enjoy an election and petition process free from fraud.

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