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Friday, April 27, 2012

MY TESTIMONY AT THE STATE BOARD OF CANVASSERS MEETING

My testimony at the State Board of Canvassers committee hearing yesterday.  The Board voted to throw the petitions out based on a nonexistent font error.  It was supposed to be 14 point bold, in capital letters, and it was.



In the past year, volunteers from across the state gathered nearly a quarter of a million signatures to call for a referendum on Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager Law.

These were not paid petition-gatherers.  Hundreds of volunteer citizens did the hard work of a democracy.  They sat in hot parking lots, went to farmer's markets, attended meetings and worked for months to circulate petitions and gather signatures.

Citizen volunteers then unloaded boxes and boxes of petitions to take to the Secretary of State's Office for validation.  202,238 signatures have now been validated.

A few hours before the deadline to submit a complaint, a small group of Lansing insiders drummed up nonsensical allegations to try to silence the voices of these hundreds of thousands of citizens.

Everyone in this room knows the claim of using the wrong font has absolutely no merit.  There is not one speck of doubt in anyone's mind; this is a completely bogus complaint.

Clearly, it is the constitutional right of those citizens for this referendum to go on the ballot in November and let the citizens decide if they like PA4.

This issue has now made national news.  The eyes of the entire nation are on you.  Those people here in this room -- and all the people who are watching and listening to this issue from their homes, what will they learn about our state?  Will we be a state that honors the constitution?  Or are we a state that throws out the constitution when it is inconvenient?

Whether you are for PA4 or against it is irrelevant.  This issue at hand is this.  Will the citizens' constitutional right to a referendum be honored?

If a few powerful Lansing insiders can overturn the voices of thousands of citizens, our constitution is at serious risk.  It is your responsibility to protect our constitution.

It is time to stop the erosion of our constitutional rights.

Please.  Protect the constitutional rights of the citizens of this state.  Allow those thousands of voices to be heard.  Put this referendum on the ballot.

Thank you.




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