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Michigan Democrats and DSCC Request Board of State Canvassers Investigate Republican Senate Candidate Petitions Following Apparent Fraud

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and a Michigan voter submitted a request for an investigation to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers detailing indications of fraud in Republican Senate candidates’ nominating petitions discovered in only a limited review.

The letter requests the Board of State Canvassers immediately investigate Republican Senate candidates’ nominating petitions. The Board should not certify these candidates for the ballot until it has conclusively determined that they have each submitted 15,000 valid signatures. 

Only an initial and limited review of the Republican Senate candidates’ petitions has already demonstrated at least five indications of fraudulent signatures: 

  • Clear, full page circulator fraud with evidence that all lines of the petition were filled out by the same person;
  • Voters’ names appearing across multiple candidates’ petitions in different handwriting with errors in addresses and spelling; 
  • Voters’ names appearing within a single candidate’s petition more than once, in different handwriting with errors in addresses and spelling; 
  • Evidence of a “round-robin” scheme; and
  • Visible circulator handwriting and signature mismatches. 

Circulators who have been accused of engaging in fraudulent signature collection activity in other petition challenges before the Board of State Canvassers also circulated petitions for the Republican Senate candidates. 

“The apparent fraud uncovered demands an immediate investigation of the Republican Senate candidates’ nominating petitions,” said Lavora Barnes, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. “The Bureau of Elections and Board of Canvassers should uphold their responsibility to protect the integrity of Michigan’s elections and conduct a full, thorough examination to ensure they stand up against fraudulent efforts to circumvent Michigan election law before taking any vote to certify the Republican Senate candidates to appear on the ballot.”

There is a well-documented history of significant fraudulent signatures on Republican nominating petitions in Michigan. In the 2022 election cycle, five gubernatorial candidates and three judicial candidates were not certified to appear on the ballot due to fraudulent signatures. The Michigan Democratic Party and the DSCC urge the Board to ensure that apparent fraud is fully investigated before any candidate is certified to appear on the ballot. 

A copy of the request for investigation can be found here

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