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State launches investigation into Unlock Michigan

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Posted at 2:08 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 18:12:57-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has launched an investigation into the Unlock Michigan group.

The move comes after allegations that members associated with the group may have engaged in criminal activity while collecting signatures for a petition that would repeal the state laws Gov. Whitmer has invoked to declare a State of Emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also comes following complaints to the AG's office from residents who said they were deceived by petition circulators. Residents said they were told the petitions were to support LGBTQ rights, for medical marijuana initiatives or to help small businesses, among other things.

SEE MORE: Success, controversy for petition on shutdown law

Unlock Michigan is trying to get a measure on the November ballot that would repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act.

The group said today it plans to turn in petitions to the Michigan Bureau of Elections on Oct. 2.

“Our democracy is firmly rooted in the principles of an informed electorate which makes decisions at the polls based on reason and beliefs over lies and deception,” Nessel said. “Our ballot initiative process allows efforts with strong public support to be presented to the Legislature.

"But that process becomes tainted when petition circulators manipulate and cheat to serve their own agendas. My office will investigate these allegations, and if there is a violation of law, we will prosecute those responsible.”