LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The state Board of Canvassers met Friday to certify petitions that would ask voters whether to protect abortion access and expand voting rights in the Michigan Constitution.
The board’s vote comes a little more than a week since its members were deadlocked over certifying the petitions. Organizers took the issue to the state’s highest court to make sure the questions would be put before voters this election.
“Michigan law is clear and more importantly, hundreds of thousands of Michigan voters have spoken. They’ve exercised their constitutional right to protect their liberty and their freedom to exercise their reproductive rights free from interference by government or politicians,” said Steven Liedel, an attorney for Reproductive Freedom for All.
The Board of State Canvassers meeting was spotted with purple shirts as supporters of the Reproductive Freedom for All initiative waited to hear the petition get certified.
It went up to the board again after the state Supreme Court ruled that members’ responsibilities are limited to reviewing petition content, form, and valid signature count. Supporters of Promote the Vote 2022 were also relieved by the ruling.
“As painful as it was, the process worked,” said Promote the Vote attorney Chris Trebilcock. “The Supreme Court by a bipartisan and clear majority of the supreme court has now provided that clarity,” he said.
Some members said they had real concerns over the grammar on the petitions and how that would affect voter understanding.
“It really truly wasn’t partisan. I have to tell you the process did work. But we would have raised the same process no matter what proposal was in front of us. I hope,” said board member Richard Houskamp
Chair Anthony Daunt said the cases going to the Supreme Court were worth it to help build clarity.
“But the court says you know, what it’s clear enough for people. You don’t need to be discussing this looking at this moving forward and so if we have a similar issue come before us in the future, it will be something we can all with confidence say hey it’s not our position, not our purpose to look at these,” said Daunt.
This election challenge comes to an end as many county clerks around the state prepare to print ballots in the coming days.