For anyone serious about submitting a proposed ballot to Michigan voters in 2022, time is running out.
The June 1 deadline for delivering 340,047 valid signatures to propose a change in state law isn’t that long ago if you’re trying to get a lot of people to sign a petition.
Collecting the necessary signatures – with a substantial cushion – takes more than a few months, even for an oiled political operation. So if the Elections Office hasn’t heard of a proposal yet, it’s probably a safe bet they won’t participate in the 2022 poll unless …. I’ll get to that in a minute.
For now, here’s the update on what’s out there and what you could vote on in November.
– Unblock Michigan 2 imposes a 28-day cap on state and county public health orders, unless the time limit is extended by the legislature or county commission. This one is run by the same crew that made Unlock Michigan 1, which repealed the 1945 Riot Act, the law the governor used to continue issuing business closures in 2020.
The organizers’ goal is to take the issue to the Republican-led Legislature, which can pass it into law without the governor’s signature.
– Secure IM Vote is a Republican wishlist for electoral reforms, including the removal of sworn affidavits for people without photo ID at polling stations and additional security checks for absent voters.
Like Unlock 2, interest groups aligned with Democrats are trying to stop this final race around the governor. They are still charging agitators in shopping malls and other high traffic areas.
But wealthy donors are also allowing Dem-aligned groups to hire petition circulation companies so Secure MI Vote cannot hire them. We’ll see if it works.
– Let MI Kids learn is an effort led by Betsy DeVos that enables philanthropists with deep pockets to donate money for scholarships that poor children in public schools can use to enter private schools.
This proposal must consist of two initiatives because it modifies two distinct sections of the law, but it is managed by the same political machine which makes Unlock 2 and Secure MI Vote. Objective: A yes to the legislative elections.
– Michigan United is a basic operation designed to give some inmates the opportunity to be released earlier.
The legislature will not support this one, so if the signatures are collected, they will go to the ballot.
– Yes to the national popular vote would put Michigan in a multi-state pact that, when there are enough states, would ensure that each state’s constituency vote goes to the winner of the national popular vote.
If Michigan supports the Republican for the presidency, 15 votes from the electoral college will (now) go to the Democrat if he wins the national popular vote. Even though he is backed by former GOP chairman Saul Anuzis, the conservative base and the GOP legislature hate the idea. If the signatures are collected, it goes to the ballot.
– Michiganders for fair loans Essentially eliminates payday loans by setting the interest rate for short term loans so that low income businesses cannot afford to stay open.
The legislature won’t be backing this one either, so that too would head to the ballot.
Other possibilities include further electoral reforms by the same group that put Proposition 3 on the ballot in 2018, although this is still under discussion.
Gun control supporters talk about safe gun storage or red flag laws in reaction to the Oxford High School shooting last week. This question is so politically combustible that it’s hard to imagine Republicans supporting it.
Also, what will the Michigan Supreme Court do with abortion? A decision putting the abortion policy in the hands of the state might come too late for Planned Parenthood to organize anything, but they can try.
Michigan’s strict anti-abortion law of 1931 is perfect, according to GOP lawmakers, so if signatures are collected, this one will also go to the ballot.
(Email Kyle Melinn of the Capitol MIRS Information Service at [email protected])