LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lawyers for James Craig and Perry Johnson filed papers with the state Appellate Courts in a quick attempt to get the two candidates for governor on the August primary ballot.
Last week, the state election board could not agree on the state report that concluded there were too many phony signatures on some of the candidate petitions.
The phony signatures made James Craig and Perry Johnson unable to go on the August 2 GOP ballot for governor.
The crux of their legal argument contends the state should have reviewed every petition signature in those boxes but the elections director contends, his staff did not do that given the time restraints.
“There is no possible way to do that approach here and make an adequate recommendation to the board,” said State Elections Director Jonathon Brater. “We looked up as many signatures that we possibly could in the QVF.”
The attorneys for Craig and Johnson argue the state should have reviewed every signature, when it found a petition with one fraudulent name on it should not have automatically tossed out all the other names on the same petition sheet.
Craig’s lawyer argues the state Appellate Court Ruling overruled the Board of Canvassers when it did that in 2000.
“It’s a Court of Appeals case and they reversed the state board of canvassers for doing that,” said Lewis. “Only fraudulent signatures may be scratched.”
Others argue there is another section of the law that gives the Board the power to automatically remove all names on a fraudulent petition.
It’s felt that eventually, the state Supreme Court will decide who is right.
It could, theoretically, order the state to count all the names.
The elections director says he can’t with a June 3 deadline.
“If we don’t have a decision with finality then were not going to be able to get the ballot to voters on time,” said Brater.