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Whitmer recall petitions can move forward, face tall order due to law change

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Posted at 10:16 PM, May 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-30 23:15:23-04

LANSING, Mich.  — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has seen immense pushback to restrictions she’s put forth since the start of the pandemic. Now efforts from several groups to recall her have passed an initial hurdle and are green-lit for the collection of signatures.

Six petitions can now move forward after approval by the Board of State Canvassers, ruled the Michigan Court of Appeals last week.

Whitmer’s campaign plans on appealing the decision, but recall efforts in general are a bit of a long shot here in Michigan, in part because recall laws changed in 2012 under former Governor Rick Snyder that essentially making it harder to recall statewide office-holders.

If groups want to get a Whitmer recall petition on the ballot, they will need to collect signatures equivalent to more than 25% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. More than 4.2 million people voted in Michigan's 2018 election, so that's nearly 1.1 million signatures.

Petitioners have just 60 days after collecting the first signature to reach that amount.

The deadline has already passed to get a recall petition on the August ballot, but the deadline to get it on November 2021 ballots is July 30.

That’s also essentially the deadline for any of those petitions to go through, as the 2012 law does not allow governors to be recalled during the last year of their term, which would be 2022 for Governor Whitmer.