Ballot Initiative Clarification Clears Senate Committee

In recent months, members of the marijuana movement and Ban MI Fracking have approached the State Board of Canvassers requesting they update their policy regarding the 180-day window for signature collection that groups initiating a ballot petition must collect signatures within. 

These groups hope to take advantage of ambiguous wording within the current law that says a group may “rebut” the 180 day provision, allowing for signatures outside the traditional 180 day window to be used for this current round of ballot initiatives.  If the policy were updated, it would change the rules for this cycle of ballot initiatives mid-stream.

In response, Senator Robertson (R, Grand Blanc) introduced S. 776 which clarifies that the intent of the law is to hold firm to the 180 day provision.  This bill moved out of the Senate before spring break and has had a hearing in the House Elections Committee.  The legislature returns from their 2-week spring break on April 12and we will be watching the House Elections Committee to see if this bill continues to move towards the Governor’s desk, creating a clear standard for everyone to follow in Michigan’s initiative and referendum process.

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