The Michigan Bureau of Elections announced Friday that a group seeking to recall Rep. Larry Inman (R-Grand Traverse County) from office did not submit enough valid signatures, officially ending the months-long effort.
According to a press release from the Inman Recall Committee, the Michigan Bureau of Elections concluded that the 13,871 signatures submitted fell 208 signatures short of the 12,201 legal threshold needed to trigger a recall election. The bureau invalidated approximately 14 percent of the signatures gathered, mainly because registered voters listed the wrong city or township or accidentally signed the petition twice.
The Michigan Bureau of Elections currently has a practice of eliminating both signatures when a voter mistakenly signs twice.
The bureau’s announcement follows a legal battle that reached the Michigan Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled in favor of allowing the recall the effort to move forward in a reversal of a lower court’s decision. The group seeking to recall Inman initially had its petition rejected in November because it contained a typo, The Michigan Star reported.
Inman was indicted by a federal grand jury in May on charges of attempted extortion, bribery, and lying to an FBI agent, but the Inman Recall Committee claims that it was his actions after being charged that prompted the recall effort.
“He missed over 80 votes, did not show up for more than 3 months of work, and asserted diminished capacity due to opioid usage as part of his defense in the criminal case,” the group said in a press release.
Michael Naughton, legal counsel for the recall committee, said the group is “disappointed with this result, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth the effort.”
“Our elected officials are accountable to the community. Since the recall is the one tool we as a community have to hold our representative accountable, it’s the tool we used. I’m proud of our community for taking on this recall, regardless of the result,” he said.
Inman was acquitted by a jury on December 11 of lying to the FBI, but prosecutors said they want to retry the legislator because the jury was deadlocked on the charges of attempted extortion and bribery. House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) told reporters after the trial that he still believes Inman should resign from the House.
“This recall was an incredible effort by our community to stand up for representation,” said recall committee member and petition sponsor Sondra Shaw Hardy. “So many people volunteered, from collecting signatures in the rain and snow to scouring the petitions to count as many proper signatures as we could, all to support this effort. And so many voters eagerly signed the petition. Recall election or not, at the end of the day, this community is stronger for this effort, and I am humbled to help lead it.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Michigan Representative House Floor” by Steve & Christine. CC BY 2.0.