GOP effort to combat voter ‘fraud’ falls victim to fraud

Michigan Voting Ballot Initiative (The Detroit News)
Michigan Voting Ballot Initiative (The Detroit News)
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A Republican effort in Michigan to put what they describe as an anti-voter fraud initiative on November’s ballot has failed after tens of thousands of signatures on a required petition were discovered to be fraudulent.

The Wolverine State GOP had mounted a petition drive to place something they call “Secure MI Vote” on the ballot during the November midterm elections. The initiative is nearly identical to a bill restricting absentee voting and imposing voter ID requirements that was vetoed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer last year.

If successful, the initiative would’ve enacted the restrictions into law without any chance for Ms Whitmer to veto it.

But organisers have dropped plans to submit their petition after realising that roughly 20,000 of the 435,000 signatures gathered were fraudulent.

Jamie Roe, one of the organisers of the initative, said his group was acting out of “an abundance of caution”.

"The fact of the matter is our volunteers, our supporters had put in too much hard work for us to end up getting bounced off the ballot due to some technicality,” he said last week during a press conference.

The ballot initiative is the latest Michigan GOP effort to be derailed by fraudulent petition signatures.

Last month, the Michigan Bureau of Elections and Board of Canvassers said five of the 10 GOP candidates vying to take on Ms Whitmer had to be disqualified because thousands of signatures on their nominating petitions were also fraudulent.

The elections bureau found at least 68,000 fake signatures on gubernatorial nominating petitions, as well as on petitions for nine other races.