On Monday, July 17th, Voters Not Politicians held a press conference to discuss the details of our proposal to end gerrymandering and why our petition launch has been indefinitely delayed.
It has now been 19 days and counting since our attorney submitted the full proposal language to the Bureau of Elections staff for approval. The staff confirmed that our proposal is under review and that they have everything they need to conduct that review. We have not received feedback, suggestions, or approval and have been told that the government bodies that they are seeking advice and expertise from will not be able to address our petition for weeks or months.
The Secretary of State Office “offers its staff for consultations on the various petition formatting requirements” for petitions who wish to receive approval as to form from the Board of State Canvassers. This as to form approval is highly recommended to ensure that our petition meets all state requirements and that our signatures are valid. Several other ballot proposals have received the Board of State Canvassers as to form approval in a timely manner.
Once the Bureau of Elections (BOE) staff grants our language approval, we will be able to move to the next step of the as to form approval process and will be able to print petition proofs to submit to the Secretary of State office.
We have respected the process, even though it meant delaying the beginning of signature collection well into the summer. The BOE staff informed our team in February that “timing depends on the extent of changes that might be necessary, but we aim to review each draft within 24 hours.” It has now been 19 days. The BOE staff recently informed us on July 13th that the delay is due to “the election attorneys who assist us in these matters are working on other matters with pressing deadlines that will occupy much of their time for the next few days/weeks” but that the staff does not have “further information as to timeframe right now.”
This unprecedented delay is simply not acceptable. Unlike most petition drives, our petition circulation team is made up of unpaid volunteers. The summer months are far more preferable for that task rather than doing most of the work in the middle of a Michigan winter.
It’s time for Lansing to make the people of Michigan a priority and to follow through on the expectations that they set. Voters Not Politicians has the support of over 10,000 Michiganders who take this campaign seriously. These Michiganders deserve that this petition be taken as seriously and given as much priority as other petitions. The people of Michigan need to see that our state officials are acting as they have promised and that they support our right to direct democracy.
It’s time to make our voices heard and it’s time to tell Lansing that they #workforMI.
Here’s what you can do:
> Watch the clock with us here and add your name to tell Lansing that YOU demand this petition to be given the same respect and attention as other petitions.
> Tell Lansing that they #workforMI. Send emails. Make phone calls. Tweet. It’s time to publicly show your support to end gerrymandering in Michigan.
> Donate $19, one dollar for each day we are kept waiting, to remind Lansing that they work for Michigan.Help us keep pushing election-rigging politicians to the sidelines.