Cong. John Conyers Fails To Qualify For Ballot
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) won’t appear on the Democratic primary ballot after failing to submit enough valid signatures, Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett said on Tuesday.
“It is my determination that in accordance with the current laws and statutes of the State of Michigan, the nominating petitions filed by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. are insufficient to allow his name to appear on the August 5, 2014 Primary Ballot,” Garrett said in a statement.
The decision means Conyers may have to run as a write-in candidate if he wants to keep a seat he’s held for five decades.
Conyers’s Democratic primary opponent, pastor Horace Sheffield III, challenged the validity of the incumbent’s signatures. The clerk ruled that since two of his petition-gatherers weren’t registered voters in Michigan, as required under state law, the signatures he obstained signatures didn’t count.
Conyers submitted 2,000 signatures, needing 1,000 valid ones. After the challenges, he had 592.
Legal challenges to the petition-gathering rule are likely, though. The American Civil Liberties Union has already challenged that law in federal court, saying it’s unconstitutional to require signature-gatherers to be registered voters.
While it may seem odd that a sitting Congressman should have to qualify to appear on the ballot for re-election, it’s worth noting that the law in place here isn’t exactly very stringent. Why Coyners’ campaign was unable to comply with it is a mystery.