State elections bureau tosses Rep. Larry Inman recall petitions because of typos; group fights back | Michigan Radio

State elections bureau tosses Rep. Larry Inman recall petitions because of typos; group fights back

Dec 2, 2019

Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg)
Credit Michigan House of Representatives

Updated Dec. 2, 2019 at 4:26 p.m.:

A group seeking to recall a state lawmaker is asking the Michigan Court of Appeals to put the question on the ballot. The campaign says typos on petition forms are not a good enough reason to block voters from deciding whether state Representative Larry Inman should be removed.

The campaign wants the court to reverse a decision by the state elections director to reject the petitions.

Sondra Hardy is a leader of the recall drive. She says the decision is not fair to the people who signed petitions.

“They should not silence the voices of the nearly 14,000 voters, so we’re saying that it was a bad decision based on a technicality,” she said.

Hardy says Grand Traverse County voters are essentially going without representation while Inman battles federal charges that he tried to trade his vote for campaign donations. Inman also missed votes during a period when he says he was in treatment for opioid addiction.

“We were not represented by Inman for about 100 votes between May and September, and people in the county felt very strongly about it,” Hardy said.

Inman is accused of soliciting a bribe, extortion, and lying to the FBI.

Original post, Nov. 29, 2019, 4:51 p.m.:

The state Bureau of Elections has tossed out petitions and thousands of signatures seeking a recall election against state Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg). The decision is based on two typos on the petition form.

The elections bureau says the language on the petition does not exactly match the language that was approved by a state board – and that the law says close is not good enough. The most significant difference is the omission of one word from the federal charges filed against Inman.

The chair of the recall campaign says the decision is “disappointing” and the group is assessing its options. Larry Inman is about to go on trial on charges of bribery, extortion and lying to federal investigators.

The state elections director says the recall campaign can challenge the decision in court, but the challenge must be wrapped up by January 10. That’s the deadline for finalizing the ballot prior to the March 10 election.