Michigan's Conyers short 400-plus signatures on nominating petitions
DETROIT — Longtime Congressman John Conyers of Michigan doesn't have enough signatures to appear on the Aug. 5 primary ballot, an election official announced on Tuesday.
Conyers' nominating petitions were insufficient, Wayne County Clerk Kathy Garrett said in a statement.
Her report last week found Conyers more than 400 signatures short of 1,000 needed. Garrett said that he had 592 valid signatures after challenges.
The 84-year-old Detroit Democrat's candidacy was at risk because officials believe several people who signed his petitions do not appear to have been registered voters or had registered too late.
Conyers has three days to appeal Garrett's ruling to the Michigan secretary of state.
Federal court actions, meanwhile, are taking aim at the requirement that petition collectors be registered voters. The ACLU has filed suit to change state law. If neither happens, Conyers can run as a write-in. If he wins the primary as a write-in, he would qualify for the general election ballot.
Messages were left with Conyers' attorney and his primary challenger, the Rev. Horace Sheffield III.
“It is a very unfortunate circumstance that an issue with a circulator of a petition would disqualify the signature of a valid registered voter,” Garrett said in a statement. “However, I am bound by the current laws and statutes of the state of Michigan that set forth very specific and narrow instructions regarding candidate petitions.”
Conyers is the senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, which he helped found.
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