The Michigan Bureau of Elections recommended disqualifying half of the candidates in the Republican primary for Michigan governor because of invalid signatures on their candidate petitions.
The bureau, in a report dated Monday, named 36 people who circulated candidate petitions who “submitted fraudulent petition sheets consisting entirely of invalid signatures.” If the bipartisan Michigan Board of State Canvassers votes to accept the bureau’s report on Thursday, five of the 10 candidates in the Aug. 2 GOP gubernatorial primary will be disqualified.
“The Bureau’s review of sheets submitted by fraudulent-petition circulators has resulted in determinations that many candidates have insufficient petitions for this election,” the report says. It added that the bureau would report the suspected fraud to the police.
While invalid signatures on candidate petitions are hardly rare, the Michigan bureau said this was the first time it discovered wholesale fraud.
“The Bureau is unaware of another election cycle in which this many circulators submitted such a substantial volume of fraudulent petition sheets consisting of invalid signatures, nor an instance in which it affected as many candidate petitions as at present,” the report says.