Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is investigating a group that allegedly tricked Michiganders into signing a petition to end statewide coronavirus lockdowns. According to victims, the group falsely claimed the petition was for marijuana initiatives and LGBTQ measures, among other issues.
The group, Unlock Michigan, is trying to repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act – a piece of legislation that allows state governments to expand their powers for a limited time during an emergency. The state’s governor, Democrat Gretchen Whittmer, recently used the act to justify statewide lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Unlock Michigan has created a petition to revoke the act and end the lockdown measures, which have been in place since March. To date, the group claims it has collected more than 500,000 signatures.
But many contend the group is dishonest. The attorney general’s office recently received a slew of complaints from Michigan residents claiming Unlock Michigan misled them into signing the petition by telling them it was for other causes.
Complainants accuse Unlock Michigan members of claiming the petition was for the legalization of medical marijuana, to support LGBTQ rights, and to support small businesses, among other items. At least one official with the group instructed petition circulators to dupe Michigan residents, according to recent media reports.
Attorney General Nessel is trying to assure Michiganders her office is working feverishly to get to the bottom of these alleged crimes.
“Our democracy is firmly rooted in the principles of an informed electorate which makes decisions at the polls based on reason and beliefs over lies and deception,” Nessel said. “Our ballot initiative process allows efforts with strong public support to be presented to the legislature. But that process becomes tainted when petition circulators manipulate and cheat to serve their own agendas. My office will investigate these allegations, and if there is a violation of law, we will prosecute those responsible.”