DETROIT – Unqualified signature gatherers may have done something Republicans never could, namely end the 50-year political career of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Detroit-area Democrat.
On Friday, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson upheld Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett’s decision to invalidate more than 1,400 of the 2,000 signatures submitted by the Conyers’ campaign because they were collected by petitioners who were not properly registered to vote.
“That action left Conyers with 592 valid signatures,” well short of the 1,000 signatures a candidate needs to be placed on the ballot, Detroit Free Press reports.
As things stand now, Conyers’ name won’t appear on the August primary ballot.
All is not lost for the 85-year-old lawmaker, however. The Associated Press reports a federal judge will rule later today on whether or not the Michigan election law that requires petitioners to be registered voters is constitutional or not.
And if Conyers doesn’t prevail in court, he could still run as a write-in candidate, the AP reports.
Conyers’ political opponents aren’t too sympathetic with his plight, pointing out the congressman has met the rules numerous times since first being elected in 1964.
If the signature snafu winds up ending Conyers’ career, it’ll have a certain poetic quality. The Democratic incompetence that’s destroyed the Motor City could now bring Conyers’ career to an inglorious end.