89.1 WEMU

State Board Approves One Of Ten Petitions To Recall Governor Snyder

Feb 9, 2016

Gov. Rick Snyder (R-Michigan)
Credit State of Michigan / michigan.gov

A state elections board has approved one petition that seeks to recall Governor Rick Snyder, but rejected several others.


The rejected petitions include efforts to remove the governor for his handling of the Flint water crisis.  The rejected petitions were mostly due to spelling and grammar errors that could have made the drives susceptible to a legal challenge.  Recall leader David Bullock vowed the effort to remove Snyder over what happened in Flint is not over.  “So we re-submit, and if they want to play politics, and policy, and protocol, we can play that game, too,” he said. “…There has to be accountability for the Flint water crisis, for the emergency management disaster.  Emergency management is Rick Snyder’s signature urban policy.  He has to own it.” 

Julie Matuzak is a Democrat on the bipartisan Board of State Canvassers.  She said there was no choice but to reject the petitions.  “I really want people to have confidence that when they sign a petition that it’s correct and will be taken seriously, and it could be tossed because a word is misspelled,” she said.  Decisions of the four-person board require both a majority and at least one vote from a representative of each party.

The closest angry supporters of the Flint recall came was a 2-2 party-line deadlock on one of the petitions.  The petition drive to remove Snyder over some of his education policies, including the authority to take over low-performing schools, fared better – winning board approval that the grounds for seeking his removal were clear and factual.  There have been more than a dozen attempts to get a petition to recall Snyder past the board.

The Legislature adopted bills to make recalls tougher following the controversial 2012 vote to make Michigan a right-to-work state.  The bar is high to get the question to voters on the summer ballot.  The Snyder recall campaign will have to gather nearly 790,000 signatures of registered voters within a six-month window to qualify. 

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org