Kalamazoo Complaints Lead To Warning About Signing Petitions
At at time when, increasingly in the age of deep fakes, you can't believe anything, Michigan Secretary Jocelyn Benson is adding to the warnings by advising Michigan residents to carefully read any petitions they are asked to sign.
Both Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent out a release as complaints are increasing, with claims of deceptive petition circulation, with the people doing the circulating "allegedly misleading people about the true nature behind the petitions they’re being asked to sign."
Here's a big part of the problem. The people doing the circulating of many of these petitions, many are paid by the signature. In many ways it's similar to a sales job, or pay per inquiry advertising.
Some of the complaints stem from circulators claiming a petition is about one topic, "such as helping small businesses or supporting medical marijuana initiatives, while the actual printed content was completely different from what was described by the circulator -- like repealing state legislation."
According to the Attorney General's office, while most of the complaints are from the Detroit area, significantly, it specifically mentions Kalamazoo as making the list of leading areas where complaints are coming from.
Part of the purpose of this release is a call by Secretary of State Benson for the Legislature to make it a crime to deceive people with these petitions.
"For decades we’ve seen Michigan citizens intentionally deceived about ballot petitions, and particularly our most vulnerable populations,” Benson said. “The recent increase in complaints demonstrates it’s high time for the Legislature to act to make it a crime to intentionally mislead a voter into signing a petition.” - Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson