April 21st Candidate Filing Deadline Extended; 50% of Signatures by May 8

Posted on April 20, 2020 by Dene Westbrook

This morning, a US District Court Judge Terrence Berg issued a court order that changes the April 21 filing deadline and rules for some candidates. This ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed against the State argued Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order presented barriers to qualifying for the ballot. 

You can review the full decision and order here

The order only affects the following offices that do not include an option to file with a filing fee including cities and village offices where the charter does not allow for the option to file with a fee. All other offices will maintain the April 21 filing deadline. 

Candidates must have also filed a statement of organization with the Michigan Campaign Finance Act before March 10, 2020 qualify for the filing deadline extension and other changes. 

For federal, judicial, city and village offices and candidates only, the order:

  • Extends the filing deadline to May 8 at 5:00 p.m. The deadline for all other offices (those with the option to pay a fee instead of signatures) remains April 21 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Reduces the signature requirement by 50 percent. For example, For example, candidates for certain city council positions subject to the April 21, 2020 deadline need only gather one hundred signatures.
  • Allows candidates to collect signature images and submit petition sheets electronically.

The Bureau of Elections is reviewing the order and has 72 hours to develop a procedure that allows the collection and submission of ballot petition signatures in digital form by electronic means. Additional information will be provided to the county, township and city clerks directly as soon as available. 

Herasanna Richards is a legislative associate handling energy, environmental, elections, and external municipal services for the League. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0309.

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