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Groups gather for freedom rally and petition drive at the Capitol

Groups gather to sign petitions at the Capitol.
Groups gather to sign petitions at the Capitol.(WILX)
Published: Jul. 4, 2020 at 7:13 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Crowds gathered at the Michigan State Capitol for an Independence Day freedom rally and petition event.

The event was organized by the Committee to Recall Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

“Getting together today was important because this is Independence Day and if we don’t stand up and protect the freedoms that we have we could lose them,” said organizer David Blair.

The group set up tents to gather support and collaborate with interested volunteers for an upcoming petition drive to remove Governor Whitmer from office.

"It was originally going to be a petition signing event, but we had a delay because Governor Whitmer, she appealed the Board of State Canvassers on June 18. We've had this event planned for quite some time it was going to be a petition passing and signing event, but we didn't want it to go to waste."

If a judge allows their recall effort to move forward, they’ll have just 60 days to come up with over 1 million signatures from registered voters in order to have a special recall election.

Restore Freedom also had tents set up on the Capitol lawn. They’ve circulated petitions since May to attempt to limit the Governor’s powers with an amendment to the state constitution.

“We have to have 550,000 signatures by tomorrow so we’ve had just over 30 days now to collect them all, but to get it on the ballot by November,” said Courtney Redding, a volunteer with the group. “We’re almost done and we need to get as many signatures as we can over the 550,000 so that we can account for any that may not be valid for whatever reason.”

There was also a group organizing and gathering support to get the Michigan Prisoner Rehabilitation Credit Act on the ballot.

"Michigan is one of a few states in the entire country that doesn't allow inmates to earn time off their sentence based on their good behavior," said Jessica Siminiski. "I think that we should reward people for trying to do what's right and come home. Everyone makes mistakes and I think that we need to give more grace."

The group planned to be at the Capitol from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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