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From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Future of Ballot-Signature Law Unclear Following Nessel Opinion

Michigan Capitol
Reginald Hardwick

The future of a ballot-signature law passed last year is unclear.  On Wednesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said that parts of the law that adds requirements to the ballot signature process are unconstitutional. Now Republican lawmakers - and others - are working on their next steps.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says he’s waiting to see if Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson actually follows through on the order before deciding what to do.

But the Republican Representative who spearheaded the bill – Jim Lower – would like to get clarification right away. He says he wants the Speaker of the House to look into a court challenge.

“You know I’d like to see it, you know if there’s a legal effort put forward, it’d be nice to have that settled sooner rather than later," said Rep. Lower.

Amber McCann is a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. She says an AG opinion is just that – an opinion.

“So the majority leader is not overly concerned with the attorney general’s interpretation. And we have yet to see whether or not there’s is any need for action on the part of the Legislature," said McCann.

A group also filed a lawsuit in the Court of Claims saying the law is unconstitutional. They want a court to permanently prevent the Secretary of State’s office from using the law.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
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