Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Michigan: New law strips Gaines Township officials of election powers during recall

I've discussed in the past how election officials can throw up roadblocks to recalls -- occasionally killing them outright. Michigan's relatively new recall law attempts to change that, and we are now seeing this new law come into effect -- until their November recalls, Gaines Township Clerk Mike Dowler, Supervisor Chuck Melki and Treasurer Diane Hyrman are losing their election duties (Here's a look at what these three recall are about).

Eric Dresden has been doing a great job covering these three recalls -- worth checking out his coverage of this latest development. Eric notes:

Michigan Election Law 167.965 states when there is a recall of an officer with election duties, an impartial public officer must be put into the position.
In a letter Melki sent to Dowler dated Aug. 12, Melki said it was his opinion that Dowler should step away from the election process and that the election commission should step away as well.
I could see this being used as a tactic to remove an official from running an election, but that is probably a risk worth taking.

Just for more fun with the recall, the city is investigating one of the petitioners against Melki for campaign finance violations -- due to her work as a poll worker.

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