Michigan AG to probe ‘Unlock Michigan’ ballot drive to limit Whitmer’s emergency powers

Campaign accused of deceiving people into signing petition

Michigan Attorney General investigating complaints about 'Unlock Michigan' petition drive.

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is opening an investigation into the group Unlock Michigan’s ballot drive to limit Whitmer’s emergency powers.

There are allegations that members associated with the group may have engaged in criminal activity while collecting petition signatures to repeal state law. Unlock Michigan is trying to repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act.

READ: Michigan group surpasses signatures needed for petition against Gov. Whitmer’s emergency powers

Nessel said her office has received complaints from residents who reported that they were deceived by petition circulators who were gathering signatures to support Unlock Michigan. Residents reported being told the petitions were to support LGBTQ rights, for medical marijuana initiatives or to help small businesses, among other things.

The Attorney General’s office has also received a letter from the League of Women Voters and another from an experienced election law attorney, John Pirich, calling for an investigation into Unlock Michigan’s signature-collecting efforts.

“Our democracy is firmly rooted in the principles of an informed electorate which makes decisions at the polls based on reason and beliefs over lies and deception,” Nessel said. “Our ballot initiative process allows efforts with strong public support to be presented to the Legislature. But that process becomes tainted when petition circulators manipulate and cheat to serve their own agendas. My office will investigate these allegations, and if there is a violation of law, we will prosecute those responsible.”

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About the Authors:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.