In an effort to repeal a Michigan law that grants the governor emergency powers, a group called Stand Up Michigan has collected 500,000 signatures that will soon be submitted to the state for review.
Although the "Unlock Michigan" initiative only needed 340,047 valid resident signatures to put the effort to repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act before the legislature, the group announced on Wednesday that it had well surpassed its goal.
In a Facebook Live video, spokesperson for the group Ron Armstrong said that "nobody believed we could do it and it's done."
"We're going to push them in this next 60 days," Armstrong said. "We know there's an election coming up, we know that they can certainly use that as a reason not to be looking at signatures right now, there's a lot happening, but we believe in November, this has no reason not to get validated with the huge number beyond what we needed."
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has received pushback from Republicans as she has continued to extend the COVID-19 state of emergency. Many are challenging her authority to reinforce the extension without the approval of the legislature.
The Michigan Democratic Party described the petition's attempt to revoke Whitmer's emergency powers as "reckless and irresponsible."
"Governor Whitmer's leadership during this crisis has saved lives, and as cases rise across the country, it's now more important than ever to support the governor and fight back against these frivolous attacks," said Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson Tim Carroll.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and other Republicans in the legislature are in support of the petition.
Once the petition has been reviewed, the law can be repealed without the governor's signature if there are enough valid signatures and if the legislature takes up the initiative and approves it. However, it will be left to the voters during a future election if it gets voted down.