Senate Democrats Reintroduce Bills to Protect Voters, Ensure Integrity of Petitions

LANSING, Mich. (July 16, 2021) — On the heels of the Republican-controlled Legislature passing the Unlock Michigan petition to bypass the governor’s veto, Senate Democrats reintroduced legislation to ensure petition gatherers cannot lie to the public and misrepresent the content of their petitions while collecting the necessary signatures for a ballot proposal.

“Haven’t we had enough of the lies?,” Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) said. “A person should be able to grow support for their proposal based on its own merit, not by misrepresenting what the petitions will do. We cannot continue to allow people, like those who worked on the Unlock Michigan campaign, to use lies and manipulation to erode the credibility of the democratic system for the rest of us.”

Last September, it was revealed that petition gathers for the recently passed Unlock Michigan campaign coached paid petition circulators on giving voters false information and other egregious acts, according to the Detroit Free Press. Attorney General Dana Nessel opened an investigation into the matter, but because there were no criminal statutes that prohibited the incidents, she was unable to pursue charges.

The bill package being reintroduced by Senate Democrats to address this and other related matters include: 

“Voters need facts and truth in order to make informed decisions about participating in the democratic process, including signing petition initiatives,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “There must be regulations in place to ensure petition circulators are using the facts and truth — not misinformation or outright lies — to gather signatures, and penalties for those who attempt to deceive a voter into signing something they may not actually agree with.”

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More news:

Pohutsky, Moss Request Federal Resources to Slow Monkeypox Spread in Michigan Moss Celebrates Michigan Supreme Court Ruling on Rouch World Sen. Moss Secures Investments for Southern Oakland County

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