Michigan Board of Canvassers Deny Abortion Rights Petition for November Ballot

A citizen initiative to guarantee a right to reproductive freedom was derailed by a 2-2 party line vote from the Board of Canvassers on Wednesday. Two Democratic canvassers voted to certify the petition, and two Republicans did not.

Organizers argue the GOP canvassers disenfranchised nearly three-quarters of a million voters who signed the abortion petition. They took their case to the Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday, filing a complaint that asks justices to require canvassers to put the measure on the ballot by next week. 

Over 735,000 registered voters signed a petition submitted by Reproductive Freedom for All, with about 600,000 signatures deemed valid, more than enough to add the ballot proposal to November’s election.

Opponents to the proposed bill cited the petition, as signed by voters, lacks clear spacing between several words. In fact, they argue there is no spacing at all in several instances, just  “gibberish” that should not be added to the Michigan Constitution. 

The apparent issue was introduced when organizers removed an extra “the” from the petition before circulating it, as requested by canvassers in March. 

Democratic nominees have a one-seat advantage on the state’s highest court, which has previously kept measures off the ballot due to technical errors.

CNN, BridgeMichigan