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Michigan Board of Canvassers rejects petition to recall Gov. Whitmer and AG Nessel over COVID-19 restrictions

Posted at 9:32 PM, Jun 04, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Board of State Canvassers (BSC) met and ultimately ruled against a petition to recall Governor Gretchen Whitmer earlier this week.

The petition was brought by Hannah Curley and filed on May 14, according to the BSC. In the petition Curley cites the governor’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. She claims the governor extended state of emergency orders after April 20 without approval from the Michigan legislature.

"Governor Gretchen Whitmer continued a State of Emergency after April 30, 2020 without legislative approval,” Curley wrote in the petition. “After April 30, 2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued multiple Executive Orders using the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act 302 of 1945. After the October 2, 2020 Michigan Supreme Court’s Order for Docket #161917, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a press release stating "Governor’s Orders remain in effect at least 21 more days."

The petition to recall Whitmer comes alongside a similar effort to recall Attorney General Dana Nessel, also brought by Curley.

Curley cites charges against two business owners.

"On May 13, 2020, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced in coordination with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Barber Karl Manke’s Professional License, as well as the License for his Barbershop, were summarily suspended,” the petition states. “Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the arrest of Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, owner of Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria in Holland, made by the Michigan State Police on March 19, 2021."

Both businesses were in violation of state COVID-19 restrictions.

Pavlos-Hackney was arrested for violating COVID-19 restriction orders. She was also fined $15,000, had her food license revoked, and spent four nights in jail.

Manke was fined $9,000 in spring 2020 for violating state orders but the charges were later dropped.

Curley’s is not the only petition to recall Whitmer. An appellate court judge ruled last week that six petitions aiming to recall the governor may move forward.

In order to make it on the ballot, a recall petition must receive more than one million signatures in the 60 days after filing.To be listed on the November ballot this fall, petitioners need to get the required number of signatures by July 30.

So far, many of the petitions are considered long shots because of the sheer number of signatures petitioners need to receive in a short amount of time.

Any major delay, like Whitmer’s campaign appealing the ruling, would presumably push the issue into next year when it would be impossible to recall the governor. Under state law, it’s illegal to recall the governor in the last year of their term.

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