After a close to a year of legal challenges and outright foot-dragging by the Whitmer administration, the will of well over a half-million Michigan voters has moved forward.

The Board of State Canvassers voted 3-0 to certify Unlock Michigan’s petition signatures, after two recent Michigan Supreme Court rulings.  Democrat board member Jeannette Bradshaw was absent.  Fellow democrat Julie Matuzak, who earlier held up the certification, voted with the Republican canvassers.

Now the State House and Senate can, and likely will, get rid of the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor law that democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer used to lock down the state indefinitely, without any say by the elected legislature.

"We’re looking forward to the next and final step on this long road: passage by the Michigan House and Senate of our initiative to repeal this law so abused by Gov.  Whitmer," said Fred Wszolek, spokesman for Unlock Michigan.

The group submitted 539,384 petition signatures on October 2nd.  They only needed 340,047.   The petitions sat gathering dust for months, completely ignored by the administration and then legally challenged by “Keep Michigan Safe.”

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When the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the Governor had overstepped, she used her state health director to issue the same orders.   Now, Unlock Michigan has launched a new petition drive to limit epidemic orders to 28 days unless elected legislative representatives vote to extend those orders.

The Board of State Canvassers approved language for new petition language for that proposal today as well.  Wszolek said the signature collection process will likely take months.

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Keep Michigan Safe spokesman Mark Fisk said, “While the Board of State Canvassers made some important changes to Unlock Michigan’s petition language, the approved language still fails to capture the negative, far-reaching public health consequences if this dangerous proposal is enacted. If enacted, this proposal would radically shift decision-making authority from medical experts like nurses, doctors and epidemiologists to Lansing politicians and political appointees. It will hamper the ability of medical experts to protect Michigan residents from deadly infectious diseases like COVID-19, Hepatitis and tuberculosis. The Board of State Canvassers should’ve done more to spell out these far-reaching negative public health impacts to voters in the petition language.”

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