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Michigan Supreme Court turns down Turner’s appeal to be placed on ballot

A candidate who had been seeking the nomination to represent a portion of Livingston County in Lansing has been turned down by the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) in his quest to overturn a decision to drop him from the August primary ballot.

Chase Turner of Northville was one of 15 candidates who were disqualified last month by the Michigan Department of State (SOS) from the August 2, 2022, Primary Election ballot because of defects on their affidavit of identity.

Turner, who had been seeking the GOP nomination for the 49th State House district, appealed to the MSC last week after the Michigan Court of Appeals also rejected his request.

State election officials say Turner was disqualified because of false statements regarding his compliance with the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which turned out to be an unpaid $1,000 fine from August 2021.

Turner said he did not know about the unpaid campaign fines at the time he signed the affidavit, although the Michigan Court of Appeals said it did not matter whether Turner actually knew about the unpaid fine as the law made him responsible for the accuracy of the affidavit he signed.

In a one-page decision on Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice David Viviano said that state law requires candidates to file an affidavit of identity that states “that as of the date of the affidavit, all statements, reports, late filing fees, and fines required of the candidate or any candidate committee organized to support the candidate’s election under the Michigan campaign finance act…have been filed or paid.” However, Viviano noted that as of February 11, 2022, when Turner signed the affidavit, he had an outstanding $1,000 fee that had been due on September 23, 2021.

“Consequently, contrary to his affidavit, there was a fee that was “required of” plaintiff at the time he filed his affidavit,” stated Viviano.in his concurring opinion. “His affidavit was therefore false, and the Court of Appeals reached the right outcome. I therefore concur in the denial order.”

Michigan Election Law requires candidates filing for office to state that “as of the date of the affidavit, all statements, reports, late filing fees, and fines required of the candidate or any candidate committee organized to support the candidate’s election under the Michigan campaign finance act … have been filed or paid.”

The Election Law also states that “An officer shall not certify … the name of a candidate who executes an affidavit of identity that contains a false statement.”

The only other Republican in that race is current 42nd District State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township.

As it stands now, Bollin and Brighton Township photographer Christina Kafkakis will face off for the seat in November, as Kafkakis is the lone Democrat running for that spot.

The 49th District includes Green Oak and Brighton townships as well as the City of Brighton in Livingston County, along with a slice of Oakland County that extends eastward through Lyon Township into Wixom and then on to Walled Lake.

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