By Right to Life of Michigan
Editor’s note. This ran July 24, but I just saw it today. I checked and nothing of substance has changed other than it is has now been more than a month since the Petition Drive began.
Now that we are approaching a month of collecting signatures, here’s an update on how things are going.
We’ve received orders for more than 125,000 petitions, meaning we have enough petitions circulating out there already to collect more than 1,000,000 signatures! We appreciate your outstanding enthusiasm thus far, but we don’t have any signatures until those blank petitions are filled out and sent in. Please keep them coming and don’t wait to send in signatures! We’ve caught up with orders and are sending them out soon after they come in; thank you so much for your patience early on.
By request, we’ve translated our factsheet explaining the dismemberment abortion procedure into Spanish. The petition itself must use English, but the factsheet is useful for helping Michiganders who are more comfortable reading Spanish to understand the issue.
Both the English and Spanish factsheets can be freely downloaded and printed from the Michigan Values Life website’s information page. (Please be careful, any petition drive materials that say “paid for by Michigan Values Life” on them can’t be copied in any form. Ask us if you need more materials! The dismemberment factsheet is for education about the legislation and does not say Michigan Values Life on it, so that’s fine).
We’ve received a ton of questions from circulators and people who want to sign the petition. Almost all of them involve the following questions and answers, which have been added to the petition drive website’s information page.
How long do we have to collect signatures?
There is a 180-day window for submitted signatures. We began collecting signatures on June 26, 2019. We will likely be collecting signatures into October. We will give people a two-week notice to send in remaining petitions when we approach the end.
Has Governor Whitmer vetoed the dismemberment abortion ban?
No, it has not been sent to her yet. She has loudly promised to veto it. The bills to ban dismemberment abortion passed by the Michigan House and Senate are independent of this initiated legislation and her veto is not legally necessary for the petition drive. It’s better to collect signatures in August than January in Michigan, so we are not waiting.
How many signatures have you collected?
We may provide an update later in the petition drive, but early on we’re focused on collecting signatures and recruiting volunteers—which ensures we’ll get the most signatures possible. We’re confident we’ll get 400,000 signatures in 180 days.
Where can I go to find a circulator?
We don’t have the ability to keep track of 10,000 circulators. Request a petition, we’ll mail it to you, and please find 7 more signatures before you mail it back!
Many people have asked if certain mistakes will invalidate the petition. Petition instructions are directly attached to the petitions themselves and are featured on the petition drive website. Below are some common mistakes we’re seeing so far.
DO write the city or the township you are registered to vote it. DO NOT write both a city and township, or your mailing address and township. Listing two separate jurisdictions will invalidate the signature—or the entire petition if you filled out the circulator section with two jurisdictions.
EXAMPLE: How do you fill out the “City or Township” box if you live in the unincorporated town of Delton in Barry Township, Barry County? BEST: Barry Township. ACCEPTABLE: Delton. INVALID: Delton (Barry Twp.)
DO write in your information in the circulator section. DO NOT use a return address label instead. The petition is a legal document and must be filled out by hand. Using a label instead of writing in the circulator information invalidates the entire petition.
DO write inside the boxes. DO NOT attempt to squeeze nine signatures on a page with spaces for eight signatures or fix an error by writing outside the box; those are invalid. We have plenty more petitions; it’s more important to collect valid signatures than to save a few cents on our printing costs.
DO write everything out. DO NOT use ditto marks! The petition is a legal document; anyone who doesn’t fill out the information themselves is invalidating their signature and confusing people who sign the petition below them into doing the same.
Thank you for your efforts so far! Please be mindful of the summer heat as we continue collecting signatures over the next couple months!