On Friday, an MLive reporter was approached by a paid circulator outside of the Dollar Tree on Westnedge Avenue in Portage, who told the reporter they were collecting signatures to help special needs kids. The circulator, who identified themselves as a paid employee from Florida, declined to give any other details when asked about the petition, Let MI Kids Learn petition, which would allow donors to get tax breaks on donations toward nonpublic education and other education-related expenses.
The interaction caught the attention of lawmakers, as well as Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who in recent weeks has called for legislation to address reports that circulators are using signatures from registered voters who were mislead into signing a petition.
Voters Not Politicians, the group that used the citizen’s initiative process to create Michigan’s independent redistricting commission in 2018, has urged a conservative ballot committee to retrain its workers over reports of misleading or flat-out dishonest circulators.
The group released a video in January showing a petition circulator inaccurately describing Republican-led initiatives including Secure MI Vote, which would make significant changes to Michigan’s voter ID laws.
There is currently no law prohibiting volunteer or paid circulators from lying to or misleading the public.
Democrats in the Michigan Senate want to change that. They are pushing a package of bills that would make it illegal to use shady tactics to get voters to sign ballot proposals they otherwise wouldn’t support.
This story was originally published by MLive. Read more here: https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2022/02/petition-circulators-can-lie-to-get-you-to-sign-proposals-michigan-lawmakers-want-to-change-that.html