(WXYZ & ASSOCIATED PRESS) — In the latest update in the GOP ballot signature debacle, a federal judge has denied Perry Johnson's motion to temporarily halt the printing of the Michigan primary ballots.
The lawsuit, which was filed last week in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, also asked that the signature threshold requirements be lowered or that Johnson’s name be added to the August, 2, 2022 Republican primary ballot.
The decision issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith stated that Johnson had not established a likelihood of success on his First Amendment and due process claims.
It read in part, "This Court sees nothing arbitrary or capricious about the BOE’s able handling of a dire and time-sensitive threat to election integrity."
Decision on Johnson by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd
Johnson along with Michael Markey lost their appeals to the Michigan Supreme Court a few weeks ago.
The court battles started after the state elections bureau described widespread evidence of fraudulent signatures, names of dead voters and wrong addresses in a May 23 report — a conclusion that rocked the crowded field of GOP candidates vying to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Five candidates said they were victims of dishonest petition circulators and deserved to be on the ballot. They also complained that the state declared thousands of suspicious signatures invalid although only a portion were actually compared to signatures in the voter registry.
That included the once frontrunner James Craig, who announced he would be launching a write-in campaign.
The Board of State Canvassers tied, 2-2, on whether to put them on the ballot. A tie meant they were left off, and lawsuits followed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.