This morning, the news broke in multiple outlets that challenges were filed challenges against the nominating petitions submitted by Republican gubernatorial candidates James Craig, Tudor Dixon, and Perry Johnson. Should Michigan’s Bureau of Elections and Board of Canvassers agree with the findings of leading Michigan election law attorneys Mark Brewer and Steven Liedel, all three candidates could be excluded from the August primary ballot.
A review of the nominated petitions showed extensive evidence of fraudulent and forged signatures submitted by Craig, Dixon, and Johnson.
They are all implicated in an illegal “round robin” signature forging scheme that AP described as “a small group of people sign[ing] names and addresses in turn, one per sheet, using a voter list.” This fraudulent behavior invalidates nearly 7,000 of Craig’s signatures alone. In a further sign of his campaign’s disorganization and possible awareness of his petition operation’s heavy reliance on this scheme, last Tuesday a representative attempted to submit an additional 4,200 signatures on Craig’s behalf which were refused due to them being presented 20 minutes past the deadline. Craig also faces a challenge from a PAC aligned with Tudor Dixon.
But the issues don’t stop there. All three candidates’ petitions “included signatures from dead people, apparent forgeries, extensive signature errors, a high number of duplicate signatures and numerous address and jurisdictional issues” in the hopes they wouldn’t get caught.
MDP Chair Lavora Barnes issued the following statement:
“The extensive evidence of fraud and forgery found throughout the nominating petitions submitted by James Craig, Tudor Dixon, and Perry Johnson indicate not only that their irresponsible campaigns are grossly negligent, but that they are not capable of being accountable leaders. The fraud uncovered in just a matter of days demands a full review of nominating petitions from the entire field of gubernatorial candidates. The Bureau of Elections and the Board of Canvassers should conduct a thorough examination to ensure they possess the integrity to stand up against Michigan election law.”