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Judge makes it easier for independents to get on ballot
DETROIT — A candidate who made a small ripple in his run for Michigan attorney general is having a major impact on state election law more than a year later.
A judge put Chris Graveline on the 2018 ballot after he challenged the signature requirement for independent statewide candidates. The same judge now has returned with a broader decision in his lawsuit, saying Michigan’s 30,000-signature threshold is too high.
U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts set the bar at 12,000 petition signatures for the 2020 election. The ruling could immediately affect independent candidates who want to run for U.S. Senate or president. There are no races next year for Michigan governor, attorney general or secretary of state.
The 30,000-signature law was “not narrowly drawn to advance a compelling state interest,” Roberts said on Dec. 22.
It’s not known if the state will appeal.
Graveline finished fourth in the race for attorney general with less than 2% of the vote.