Earlier today, the Michigan Board of Canvassers met to consider the certification of the Unlock Michigan Petition. The proposal one simple. It was all of one line:
"An initiation of legislation to repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act, 1945 PA 302, MCL 10.31 to 10.33, entitled “An act authorizing the governor to proclaim a state of emergency, and to prescribe the powers and duties of the governor with respect thereto; and to prescribe penalties.”
Hundreds of residents throughout Livingston County joined patriots from all over our state, helping as the Unlock Michigan movement collected a total of 536,000 signatures. After months of delay, the Michigan Secretary of State's office had finally reviewed the signatures collected and on Tuesday issued a memo to the Canvasser members recommending they certify the petition.
As today's canvass meeting progressed, one thing became clear: the Democratic members of the canvass had decided to play partisan politics to stall the Unlock Michigan petition.
First, Ms. Matuzak (D) made a motion that would require the Board of Canvassers to open an investigation into the Unlock Michigan petition signatures -- something the Board of Canvassers has never done before. After that motion failed by a 2-2 vote, Ms. Matuzak motioned to delay the certification of the Unlock Michigan petition until the Board of Canvassers could go through the APA rulemaking process. This motion also failed by a 2-2 vote. It's important to note that both of these motions offered would delay the petition's certification indefinitely.
In the end, the vote to certify the election failed as the two Republican members, Norm Shinkle and Tony Daunt, voted to certify the petition; and the two Democratic members, Jeannette Bradshaw and Julie Matuzak, voted not to certify the petition.
Although this decision by the Democratic member is troubling -- after all, the Unlock Michigan petition collected over 100,000 valid signatures than were actually needed according to state law -- it is sadly not surprising. This is not a new delay tactic by the Democrats. In 2018, Democratic members of the Board of Canvassers tried these same delay tactics with the Prevailing Wage Repeal Petition. Eventually, both Republican and Democratic judges voted to mandate the Democratic canvasser members to approve the petition and send it to the Legislature for consideration.
At this time, Unlock Michigan has vowed to take the matter to court.
In the meantime, how can you act? Email the Michigan Board of Canvassers today to 1) thank members Shinkle and Daunt for their votes; and 2) encourage members Matuzak and Bradshaw to change their position, follow the law, listen to the voices of 540,000 residents, and certify the petition!