Breaking: Perry Johnson Announces Plan To Bring Quality Reforms To Petition Process For Candidates Running For Office

Perry Johnson has released a major plan to reform the petition process for candidates running for public office in Michigan.

“Michigan’s petition process is fatally flawed because it easily allows criminals to victimize candidates for public office and their thousands of supporters who legitimately sign petitions,” Johnson said in a statement on Monday. “We must bring quality to the petition process by allowing campaigns a mechanism to compare signatures that are gathered by circulators with signatures on the Qualified Voter File to ensure their legitimacy.”

Johnson says the current process emboldens criminals, and needs to be changed.

“Criminals are able to defraud campaigns and their thousands of supporters by submitting signatures of questionable legitimacy to be included with legitimate signatures,” Johnson said. “Criminals can commit fraud for money or by purposely infiltrating a victimized campaign with illegitimate signatures in a machiavellian attempt by the opposing party to later have them removed from the ballot. Unfortunately, the signatures provided to campaigns cannot currently be checked until after their submission to the Secretary of State. This needs to change, immediately.”

Johnson compared the issues with the petition process to problems the American auto industry faced in the 80’s.

“The problems facing Michigan’s petition process have similarities with the problems we
encountered in the automotive industry in the 1980’s,” Johnson said. “They were checking quality at the end of the assembly line rather than in the beginning. Therefore, they were throwing out products after the car was built rather than fixing the quality in real-time prior to
building the car. We implemented statistical process control to bring quality to the front
end of the process and that dramatically improved manufacturing quality across the
country.”

Johnson says his plan protects voters.

“This Plan for a Quality Petition Process will secure the rights of voters to ensure their
signature counts, and they are not victimized by criminals who attempt to defraud voters
and the candidates they support,” Johnson said.

Read Perry Johnson’s Full Plan To Bring Quality To The Petition Process:

Signature Verification Services: While it is generally possible to verify if a person is
registered to vote and therefore qualified to sign a petition, it is not possible to verify the
validity of a signature before a campaign turns that signature in at the end of the
process. This is because campaigns do not have access to the signature file in the
Qualified Voter File prior to the formal submission of signatures. The Secretary of State
should, for a reasonable fee, offer a signature verification service to more quickly root
out crooks seeking to defraud candidates and their supporters.

Severe Penalties and Enforcement for Fraud, Ability to Rectify: Circulators should
be held accountable for fraud in the signatures they collect. Penalties should be severe,
and in cases where circulators defraud a candidate and legitimate signers that
candidate should be able to rectify the fraud committed against them. The Secretary of
State or Board of Canvassers should be given 72 hours to refer a matter to the Attorney
General for investigation, and then the victimized campaign should be given one week
to submit replacements for those signatures called into question.

Make it a Felony to Intimidate Petition Signers: It is currently against the law at the
Federal level to use Federal Election Commission donation data for fundraising by other
candidates. The public disclosure of the donor information is not legally used by other
campaigns. Michigan should enact state law to protect petition signers so that they are
not intimidated by individuals, organizations, and attorneys after signing a petition.

Licensing, Insurance and Bonding: Firms that hire petition circulators should be
licensed by the state with associated insurance and bonding to minimize the potential
for criminals to enter the petition business.

Time Limits on Challenges as to the Form of the Petition: Petition forms that are
reviewed and approved by the Board of Canvassers should only be challengeable for
up to 14 days from the time that the board approves the form. It is not fair to citizens
circulating or signing petitions that special interest groups can wait until after signature
collection to exploit an alleged problem with the form of the petition.

The Burden of Proof Should Fall on the Challenger who is Trying to Limit the
Choices of Michiganders:
 Today, special interest groups can lodge broad and vague
challenges that cast doubt without proof. This places a burden of investigation, time,
and costs to the citizens who gathered those signatures and the Board of Canvassers
who are asked to sort it all out. When special interest groups challenge the validity of
signatures on a petition, they should be required to provide specificity of which
signatures are allegedly ineligible and present that proof, signature by signature, with an
opportunity for the campaign to defend those signatures one at a time.

Losers Cover the Costs: Special interest groups today can cost their opponents time
and money, without any consequence, even when their challenges are frivolous.
Challengers should be required to cover the costs of both the state and the candidate
committee or ballot committee who was forced to defend against the frivolous
challenges.

Perry Johnson is a full-spectrum conservative: a social conservative, a fiscal conservative, and an “America First” conservative. 

Read more about Perry’s conservative views HERE.

Perry Johnson, the “Quality Guru” and Constitutionally Conservative, Trump Republican who helped revolutionize America’s auto industry in the 80’s, has turned the Michigan Governor’s race upside down since the launch of his campaign earlier this year.