A bill that will provide more accountability and transparency in the ballot proposal process is on it's way to the Governor's desk. It will also make it more difficult for groups to place initiatives on the ballot. Under the bill, no more than 15 percent of the total signatures submitted for a ballot proposal could be collected in a single congressional district. Any additional signatures, over the 15 percent in a district, would not be counted. This will help ensure that signatures come from all corners of the state.
The bill moves the date by which the Board of State Canvassers (BSC) must certify a petition to no later than July 1st before an election. This could previously be done as late as September. It will also require that any legal challenges to the Canvassers' findings be filed within three days, directly to the Michigan Supreme Court.
The bill will require paid circulators to register with the state, invalidate of any signatures that were not signed in the circulator's presence, and ensure a factual 100-word summary of the proposal be included on the front petition.
Additional bills have been passed that will prohibit petition circulators from intentionally making a false statement or misrepresentation about the petitions and will allow a petition signer to remove his or her name from a petition, particularly if they were duped by a collector on the intention and implications of the petition.