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Abortion rights, Promote the Vote campaigns ask state Supreme Court for ballot berths

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Recalls are not an easy thing to pull off

Campaigns to add abortion rights and expanded voting rights protections to the Michigan Constitution filed lawsuits Thursday asking the state Supreme Court to clear a path for them to get on the November ballot.

The Reproductive Freedom for All and Promote the Vote campaigns both say Republicans on the Michigan Board of State Canvassers ignored the fact that they collected far more than the number of petition signatures required. Also, that the GOP members were swayed by “frivolous” objections to block the questions.

The four-person, bipartisan board deadlocked two-to-two along party lines on sending both proposals to the ballot.

The Reproductive Freedom for All filing asking the state Supreme Court to order the measure onto the November ballot said, "The voters have already demonstrated widespread grassroots support for the RFFA petition—no other initiative in Michigan’s history has ever collected more signatures."

"This Court should safeguard the right of the People to exercise their political power and protect it from strained interpretations of law that stand to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters," the legal filing said.

Reproductive Freedom for All turned in 753,759 petition signatures. Promote the Vote turned in more than 664,000. Both would be well over the state’s requirement of roughly 425,000 valid signatures of registered voters to qualify for the November ballot.

Both campaigns have asked for a decision in less than a week. The Board of State Canvassers has a meeting scheduled for September 9, which is also the deadline for finalizing the ballot.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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