As I reported last week the Democrats on Michigan's Board of State Canvassers failed to do their jobs and rejected the Michigan Bureau of Elections certification of the Unlock Michigan petition.  The Unlock Michigan spokesperson Fred Wszolek informed us in my interview with him last Friday (April 23rd, 2021) this has happened in the past.  When it does happen the petition group goes directly to the Michigan Supreme Court and the Board of Canvassers are ordered to accept the recommendation.

Let me give you a little background on the issues.  Michigan's Board of State Canvassers consists of two Democrat and two Republican members.

I reported back on April 20th that the Michigan Bureau of Elections, as they typically do, reviewed a small sample of 506 signatures out of the 538,345 that were turned into the state government.  Of those 506 signatures, they determined that 434 or 86% were considered valid.  Applying that 86% validity rate against the total 538,345 signatures submitted by Unlock Michigan translates to 460,358 valid signatures. That is 120,311 more signatures than the 340,047 needed for the Unlock Michigan ballot proposal to obtain certification.

The spokesman for Unlock Michigan Fred Wszolek sent out the following press release:

“The Board of State Canvassers failed to do its legal duty today to certify the Unlock Michigan petition. Predictable partisanship from two members -- in clear violation of the law and every court precedent -- disenfranchises more than 540,000 voters who want their voice heard.

There is no doubt that Unlock Michigan submitted sufficient signatures to require certification. There is no doubt what the Board's clear legal duty was. Do we need to seek sanctions and court costs against individual canvassers to get them to start doing their legal duty?

These rogue board members know the rules, yet they posture as being in favor of new rules. What they really stand for the suppression of the voice of Michigan voters. Once again the Michigan Supreme Court will have to smack down these board members who refused to do their jobs.”

As Fred Wszolek stated the next stop will have to be the Michigan Supreme Court, that time has come.

Unlock Michigan is submitting its mandamus complaint with the Michigan Supreme Court today.

A mandamus complaint as defined by Cornell Law school is:

“A (writ of) mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.”

Fred sent me the following cases where the courts required the Board of State Canvassers to certify a petition, after having deadlocked on certification despite a Staff Report recommending certification:

  1. Citizens for the Protection of Marriage v. Board of State Canvassers, 263 Mich App 487 (2004)
  2. Stand Up for Democracy v. Board of State Canvassers, 492 Mich 588 (2012)
  3. Protecting Michigan Taxpayers v. Board of State Canvassers, 321 Mich App 240 (2018), leave denied 911 NW2d 803 (2018)
  4. Michigan Opportunity v. Board of State Canvassers, unpublished order of the Court of Appeals entered August 22, 2018 (Docket No. 344619), leave denied 920 NW2d 137 (2018)

In the following cases the courts required the Board of State Canvassers to certify a petition, after having deadlocked on certification despite a Staff Report finding sufficient signatures but deadlocked as a result of inappropriate arguments raised by a challenger:

  1. Michigan Civil Rights Initiative v. Board of State Canvassers, 268 Mich App 506 (2005), leave denied 474 Mich 1099 (2006)
  2. Protect Our Jobs v. Board of State Canvassers, 492 Mich 763 (2012)
  3. Michigan Alliance for Prosperity v. Board of State Canvassers, 492 Mich 763 (2012)
  4. The People Should Decide v. Board of State Canvassers, 492 Mich 763 (2012)

He then informed me that we have found no cases where the Staff Report recommended certification, the Board deadlocked, and then the court failed to order certification.

Will this liberal-leaning Michigan Supreme Court change that precedent?

We will see.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595

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