U.S. Representative Thad McCotter was ousted from the August 7th ballot by the state Board of Canvassers by unanimous vote last Wednesday, after the Secretary of State found 244 of 1,800 petition signatures were valid.
The discovery was first made in late May, when the state Bureau of Elections announced the 10-year veteran to the U.S. House didn’t meet the 1,000 signature requirement to be placed on the GOP primary ballot.
While the GOP primary would have been a simple formality for the Livonia Republican, The Detroit Free Press notes that he fell victim to an incredibly sloppy re-election campaign, which only gathered 244 valid signatures.
The Bureau of Elections noticed in May that McCotter’s campaign turned in hundreds of faked, photo-copied signatures, apparently hoping that the Bureau would pass them off, considering the Representative’s 10-year-long tenure in Washington.
Unfortunately, they found out that even already-elected officials must follow all of the rules. Interlochen Public Radio reports that Chris Thomas, the state elections director, says the Board of State Canvassers agreed with the agency’s finding, saying:
“They’ve endorsed that by passing a motion finding that Congressman McCotter filed insufficient petitions and will not appear on the ballot.”
Even worse for the election campaign, McCotter’s petitions will be turned over to the state attorney general’s office, in order to begin a criminal fraud investigation. The Detroit Free Press notes that the invalid signatures were copied, sometimes two or three times, and some petitions had dates that were cut and pasted onto the forms.
The Detroit Free Press also notes that McCotter was not the only candidate to be cut from the ballot for insufficient signatures. The state Board of Canvassers also kept the following candidates off of the August 7th ballot: U.S. Senate candidate Peter Konetchy, a Roscommon Republican; 7th Congressional District candidate Michael Stahly, a Potterville Republican, and 8th Congressional District candidate Michael Magdich, a Democrat from Whitmore Lake.
What do you think of the state Board of Canvassers’ decision to exclude U.S. Representative Thad McCotter from the Michigan primary ballot?