While the Michigan state Board of Canvassers approved a petition on Monday seeking to recall Gov. Rick Snyder (R), the petition is not connected to the ongoing water crisis in Flint.
According to MLive.com, the petition that was approved is related to the governor’s creation of the State School Reform/Redesign Office. The board rejected nine petitions related to the issues in Flint because of spelling errors, on top of another 12 it has rejected since last November.
For instance, one petition seeking to oust Snyder for declaring a state of emergency in Genesee County and Flint was rejected because “Genesee” was misspelled as “Genesse.” Another petition was rejected for misspelling the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.
More than 100 people attended the board’s meeting on Monday, with several of them criticizing the group for rejecting the Flint-related petitions over the mistakes.
“You are playing with semantics and in the meantime my family and members of my family have been poisoned,” said Dorothy Batchelder, who said that more than 30 of her relatives live in Flint.
Board member Julie Matuzak said spelling errors put petitions at risk of being challenged and overturned in court.
“Words do matter, and spelling does matter,” she said. “And when a person signs a recall petition they have a right to expect that their signature will count for something.”
Supporters of the petition approved on Monday must now collect 789,133 within a 60-day period. It is valid for 180 days after Monday. If the petition garners the necessary amount of signatures, it would be put in a ballot for voters around the state.