Lansing— Rep. Thaddeus McCotter turned in 2,000 petition signatures to get on August primary ballot, but all except 244 have been deemed invalid because of rampant duplicated copies, the Michigan Secretary of State found.
A review by The Detroit News of the petition signatures found full copies of a sheet of signatures that were photocopied once and in some cases two times and mixed in with the 136-page stack of signatures. In some cases, a different petition circulator's name was signed to the duplicate copy.
The overt copying is "frankly unheard of," said Chris Thomas, Michigan's director of elections, as he thumbed through the stack of petitions. "It's amazing when you sit and look, and it starts to dwell on you what they've done."
The Secretary of State's office has turned over its preliminary findings to the state Attorney General's office, which would take up a potential criminal investigation of violations of election law.