When Will Michigan Be Unlocked?
A lot of Michigan residents who signed an “Unlock Michigan” petition have been wondering why they haven’t heard much about the status over the last 8 to 10 weeks. 51st District Republican State Representative Mike Mueller from SE Michigan says he’s pretty sure he knows why the crickets took over. He’s accusing Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson of ignoring the signature certification process to stonewall the effort.
A media release from his office offers some text of a letter sent to the Secretary of State, “It has been more than three months since Unlock Michigan submitted the petitions to the Secretary of State on Oct. 2, 2020, and recent media report indicate that not a single signature on the petitions has been reviewed by the office you oversee.”
Representative Mueller says it is critical that the state begin the process of certifying signatures from the petition drive. He points out that it is the right of Michigan voters to initiate changes in state law. Considering, he says, the significant importance of repealing a 1945 law the Governor has used to support her COVID-19 shutdowns. Mueller points out to the Secretary of State that the Michigan State Supreme Court has ruled the Governor cannot use that law to support unilateral closing orders.
“The Legislature, serving as the representatives of the people, recently approved a bill to repeal this section of law, which has already been ruled unconstitutional by the highest court in the state. The governor vetoed it. The citizens of our state took it upon themselves to initiate the repeal through their own petition process so that it cannot be blocked by the governor - and it is critically important that the voices of the people are not silenced.”
Following the submission of petition signatures to the state last fall, the organizing group, Unlock Michigan posted the following text on its web site: “The next step is to have our signatures reviewed, and verified, by the Michigan Bureau of Elections. Once they verify them, the Legislature will have the green light to vote to repeal the 1945 Law and overturn Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders. The Secretary of State, Joclyn Benson, and her team have noted it could take 105 days to review the signatures. In a sworn filing in Federal Court, it was declared that the process on deciding the validity of a petition drive takes “approximately 60 days.”
In the meantime, the Governor has used an end-around to re-write her closings by declaring them public health issues through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Department.