Anti-fracking group challenges petition limits

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The petition campaign to outlaw fracking in Michigan is asking the state Court of Appeals to overturn a 180-time limit on gathering signatures. The campaign is asking the court to strike down a law signed in June by Governor Rick Snyder.

Lu Ann Kozma is with the anti-fracking campaign. She would like the court to rule soon so the campaign can decide whether to continue gathering signatures.

“Why should we have to go through all of the actual work before a decision is made because that’s sort of pointless.”

The anti-fracking effort has failed twice to get on the ballot. Now, it’s looking toward 2018.

Kozma said the 180-rule violates the Michigan Constitution’s provision on voter-initiated laws.

Ellis Boal is an attorney for the anti-fracking campaign. He said the law violates the Michigan Constitution, which makes no mention of time limits for petition drives.

“The issue of the number of days which you have to collect signatures goes to the heart of the process. That makes it hard for grassroots groups like ours.”

Boal is asking for a ruling now to help the campaign decide whether to continue collecting signatures with an eye toward the 2018 ballot. A lower court said it wouldn’t rule on the question until after the signatures are turned in to state elections officials.