Supporters of ousting the governor over the city of Flint's water crisis will now have 60 days to collect about 790,000 valid signatures in order to get the recall on the November ballot.
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The Michigan Board of State Canvassers has approved a petition to recall Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Activists blame the governor for high levels of lead that have poisoned the city of Flint's drinking water, due to a cost cutting measure made by Snyder's hand-picked emergency city manager. The Board, a bipartisan, four-member panel with two Republican and two Democratic appointees, is tasked with deciding which petitions can move forward.
The recall petition approved by the Board today was submitted by Detroit Pastor David Bullock, (photo right) who the Detroit Free Press identifies as a political activist "prominent in the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the NAACP, and who has run unsuccessfully for Detroit City Council."
"The people need the opportunity to express their democratic right as well as their political will," Bullock told reporters after his petition was approved.
Before accepting Pastor Bullock's petition today, the Board had rejected six other petitions, five of them calling for the recall of Gov. Snyder and one recalling Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. The board said the other petitions were rejected due to either a lack of clarity or technical problems.
Organizers now have 180 days to organize a signature drive. They need to collect 789,133 voter signatures in a 60-day period. Rev. Bullock and his supporters will be the first group to attempt to comply with that timetable after lawmakers reduced the time to collect signatures from a 90-days to a 60, in 2012. If Bullock is successful, the recall petition will appear on the November ballot.
Quincy Murphy, an education advocate who has been trying to recall the governor over the state of Detroit schools, has joined forces with Pastor Bullock. Murphy told M-Live the campaign to unseat Gov. Snyder is already working on a website, and plans to start collecting signatures "when the weather is warmer and more Michiganders are outdoors."
Informed that the State Board of Canvassers had approved Pastor Bullock's recall petition earlier today, Gov. Snyder shrugged the development off as "part of the democratic process."