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Department of State disqualifies candidates for August 2022 ballot

The Department of State issued letters today to candidates who will be disqualified from the August 2, 2022, Primary Election ballot because of defects on the candidate’s affidavit of identity. The Michigan Election Law prohibits filing officials from certifying to the ballot the names of candidates whose affidavits of identity are missing required information or that contain false statements.

Of the 15 candidates disqualified, four candidates are being disqualified because of missing information or information that indicates the candidate is not eligible in the jurisdiction:

  • Faiz Aslam (6th District Representative in Congress)
  • Michael Shallal (57th District Representative in State Legislature)
  • Steven Thomas (31st District State Senator)
  • Howard Weathington (3rd District State Senator)

Courts have determined that the Department of State must require strict compliance with the Michigan Election Law for candidate affidavits of identity. Candidates who omit required information cannot be certified to the ballot.

Eleven candidates have been disqualified because of false statements regarding the candidate’s compliance with the Michigan Campaign Finance Act:

  • Betty Alexander (6th District State Senator)
  • Mellissa Carone (11th District State Senator)
  • Ronald Cole (7th District Representative in State Legislature)
  • Kahlilia Davis (36th District Court Judge)
  • Eddie Kabacinski (14th District Representative in State Legislature)
  • Chris Martin (54B District Court Judge)
  • Vernon Molnar (7th District State Senator)
  • Jon Rocha (78th District Representative in State Legislature)
  • Alberta Talabi (3rd District State Senator)
  • Chase Turner (49th District Representative in State Legislature)
  • Lawanda Turner (11th District Representative in State Legislature)

The Michigan Election Law requires candidates filing for office to state that “as of the date of the affidavit, all statements, reports, late filing fees, and fines required of the candidate or any candidate committee organized to support the candidate's election under the Michigan campaign finance act … have been filed or paid.” The Election Law also states that “An officer shall not certify … the name of a candidate who executes an affidavit of identity that contains a false statement.”

The 11 candidates above all had outstanding campaign finance reports or unpaid fines at the time they signed the affidavit of identity. Some of the candidates paid fines after signing their affidavit of identity, or subsequently paid their fines, then withdrew their affidavits of identity and filed new affidavits of identity. Regardless of steps the candidates took after submitting affidavits of identity with false statements, the Department is prohibited by the Michigan Election Law from certifying the candidates’ names to the ballots for this election because they executed an affidavit of identity containing a false statement.

The 15 candidates above are required to file with the Michigan Department of State. Other candidates who file with county clerks may be disqualified based on affidavit of identity by the county clerk.  These 15 candidates are being disqualified based on their affidavit of identity, not based on the sufficiency of their nominating petitions. The determination as to whether candidates required to submit nominating petitions have submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures is made by the Board of State Canvassers. A meeting for that purpose is scheduled for May 26, 2022.

 

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