LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—Tonight a petition fight is now a court battle. The group ‘Unlock Michigan’ gathered more than half a million signatures for a petition to help eliminate governor Whitmer’s emergency powers.
However, in a virtual meeting today the Board of Canvassers were dead-locked in a 2-2 vote, meaning the law that some say is unconstitutional will stay for now.
Amanda fisher is the assistant director for the NFIB, a nationwide organization that advocates for small businesses and a group that supported the petition. She says today’s decision is frustrating given how many people signed it.
“This was very grassroots-driven, and I think it will be a huge disappointment to the people of Michigan especially given everything that’s gone on,” said Fisher.
If approved the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act would have been completely stripped from the books. Groups like ‘Keep Michigan Safe’ which supported today’s decision say the tactics used to gather signatures are a danger to democracy.
“This has been probably the most corrupt and sleaziest petition drive ever inflicted on the state of Michigan and this is not the case of one bad apple. The entire bushell is rotten,” said the Spokesperson for Keep Michigan Safe.
Fisher says this decision adds a new level of concern for small businesses that have already been operating in limbo.
“They don’t know if they are going to be closed tomorrow and granted that can be done with epidemic orders but you know as long as the 45 act is out there, that can at some point be used.”
This comes despite the fact that the Michigan Attorney General says some of the signatures were collected through what she called ‘sleazy tactics’. Leaders of the ‘ Unlock Michigan’ petition are vowing to take this fight in court.