Taylor DesOrmeau at MLive:
Five of the 10 Republican candidates for governor don’t have enough valid signatures to make the ballot, according to a report from the Michigan Bureau of Elections after a thorough review.
The five candidates without enough valid signatures are James Craig, Perry Johnson, Michael Brown, Michael Markey Jr. and Donna Brandenburg.
The report is not a final decision, however. The Michigan Board of State Canvassers will vote Thursday, May 26, to determine which candidates have enough valid signatures. The Bureau of Elections report is just a recommendation for the board.
If all five candidates are disqualified, that would leave five Republican candidates on the Aug. 2 primary ballot: Garrett Soldano, Kevin Rinke, Ryan Kelley, Tudor Dixon and Ralph Rebandt.
The board of canvassers has two Republicans and two Democrats. It could take issue with certain petitions and signatures that were deemed invalid.
Governor candidates need at least 15,000 signatures, and 100 from each congressional district, to qualify for the primary ballot. Candidates were allowed to submit up to 30,000.
The winner from among the GOP candidates will face Democratic incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the Nov. 8 general election.
Here’s how many valid/invalid signatures the Bureau of Elections found for the six candidates in question:
Many of the faulty petitions came from the same 36 circulators, who submitted an estimated 68,000 invalid signatures across petitions for 10 different Michigan candidates for governor and other positions, per the bureau.
- Tudor Dixon: 29,041 valid signatures, 199 invalid signatures
- Perry Johnson: 13,800 valid signatures, 9,393 invalid signatures
- James Craig: 10,192 valid signatures, 11,113 invalid signatures
- Michael Brown: 7,091 valid signatures, 13,809 invalid signatures
- Michael Markey Jr.: 4,430 valid signatures, 17,374 invalid signatures
- Donna Brandenburg: 6,634 valid signatures, 11,144 invalid signatures
Having fraudulent signatures submitted is common, the bureau said in its report, but it is “unaware of another election cycle in which this many circulators submitted such a substantial volume of fraudulent petition sheets consisting of invalid signatures, nor an instance in which it affected as many candidate petitions as at present.”