Our quest to ban fracking and frack wastes in Michigan has been, and still is, a long journey. We MAY be on the ballot in November 2020 if all goes our way.
We invite you to join our campaign NOW in anticipation of the 2020 election. We need to build our volunteer base and spread the word about our campaign.
On April 2, 2020, we WON our lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Appeals! Finally, after some delay by the State, we delivered our signatures to the Secretary of State's office in Lansing on May 1.
See the court decision here.
We now await a staff review by the Elections Bureau staff and a vote by the Board of State Canvassers that our petitions are "insufficient" (because many of them are beyond the 180-day signature gathering period). After that decision, we will pursue a legal case in the Michigan Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of that law. After a win on that, the State would then canvass the signatures and determine whether we have a sufficient number of signatures. From that point, the Michigan legislature will have 40 days to decide to enact or not enact the proposal. If they do not enact it, our proposal would go on the ballot for Michigan voters to decide.
We concluded our signature-gathering phase and tendered 270,962 signatures* on Monday, November 5, 2018. A truly amazing feat accomplished by hundreds of volunteers over a 3-year period.
On that day we brought our 47 boxes to the State of Michigan Bureau of Elections for filing for the 2020 election. To our astonishment, the Director of Elections rejected the filing without even taking possession of the boxes. This action brought us to a second legal phase of the campaign.
The very next day, we sued the Director of Elections and Secretary of State on Tuesday, Election Day in the Michigan Court of Appeals, asking the court for immediate same-day consideration, but the court took no action. We put the boxes of signatures into secure storage with a records management company, and amended the complaint asking the court to compel the Bureau to take possession of the signatures as they should have on November 5, consider that action a "filing," and begin canvassing, which by law only the Board of State Canvassers can do. This suit was thrown out without explanation by the court.
We sued again, this time in the Court of Claims, in late December 2018. The lower court decided against us in summer 2019, saying that even though it was not required by law that we put any election date on the front of the petition, because we did, it mattered.
When we sued in 2016, to get a declaratory ruling on the unconstitutionality of the statute restricting signature-gathering to 180 days, the defendants had said in court, and the court agreed, that "if and when Plaintiffs [the Committee to Ban Fracking] obtain additional signatures they require, then they would be able to file their petition." When we did exactly that on November 5, 2018, their rejection was a stunning reversal.
Now we have a victory in the Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals agreed with us that the date on the front of the petition does not determine the election the proposal is to be voted on. The Court also agreed with us that we filed timely for the 2020 election. The Court ruled: "Because the Director wrongly refused to accept the filing, the petition must be treated as having been filed on that day. To hold otherwise would punish petition sponsors and the electorate for unlawful actions taken by election officials. Thus, the petition must be treated as having been filed on November 5, 2018."
See our LAWSUIT MENU for all the filings and decisions.