We’re Taking Legal Action to Remove “Geography Test” Imposed on Voters and to Appear on August 7th Primary Ballot

On June 1, 2018, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers erroneously ruled that I did not submit enough signatures on my petitions to appear on the August 7th ballot for the Democratic primary to represent Michigan’s 6th District in Congress.

In Michigan when you sign a petition to put someone on the ballot, besides your name and signature, etc., you are asked to indicate the city or township in which you are registered to vote. You write the place name, and there are two little boxes: “city of” and “township of.” You check one.

If you leave both boxes blank, your signature counts.

If you check both boxes, your signature counts.

If you check the wrong box, the Bureau of Elections rejects your signature.

This makes no sense.

After their review, I was 9 signatures short.

The Board acknowledged that with so many places in Michigan with a city and township of the same name side by side, uncertainty is widespread. They acknowledged that the original reason for the law – the need to check signatures against on-paper records in city and township offices – no longer applies. Now signatures can be checked online in an instant. But they voted anyway not to count signatures from voters registered in the district when the wrong box was checked.

The State statute upon which the ruling was based amounts to a “geography test” imposed on voters that will not survive legal scrutiny. It sows voter confusion, it is contradictory on its face, and it deprives the voters of their right to vote for the candidate of their choosing in violation of the Federal and State Constitutions, U.S. Supreme Court precedent and State law.

We’re taking the State to federal court – to restore the voting rights of citizens whose signatures have been rejected, to get me on the ballot, and to fix the law.

If you can help us cover the legal costs for this effort to expand voters’ rights in Michigan, please click the red “Donate” button above!



Paul Clements is a candidate for Congress for Michigan’s 6th district.

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Why Congress?

I’m running for Congress because I know that Southwest Michigan can do better. I want to restore opportunity to the middle class. I want our children to have a brighter future. I’m running for Congress to get our economy working for the people and not only for the very wealthy. I will work for campaign finance reform, Medicare for All, education and job training and criminal justice reform. I’m running because I believe we need strong American leadership on climate change, in scientific innovation, and on global security.

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