Sec State cand La Pietra (G-MI) Calls on Bureau of Elections to Fix More Errors

John Anthony La Pietra

John Anthony La Pietra

Voters should be Better Informed of General-Election Candidates

Voter Information Center Not Ready to Show Sample Ballots or Campaign Links; Candidates Given Wrong Deadline Date to Verify Invisible Information

For the second time in a week, John Anthony La Pietra — the Green Party of Michigan’s (GPMI)candidate for Secretary of State — is trying to get that office and its Bureau of Elections to do their jobs and give voters fair and accurate information about candidates.

Last Friday, exactly a month after the August 3 primary, the Bureau finally posted on line a list of candidates who will be on the November 2 general-election ballot.  But John noticed that the list, while it included links to some candidate Websites, did not offer a link to his campaign homepage — which he’d reported to the Bureau August 2 on his Statement of Organization form — or those of four of his fellow GPMI candidates.

The Bureau corrected that omission yesterday.  And then in today’s mail, John received a memo from the Bureau to all “Candidates Appearing on the November General Election Ballot” announcing that their links would also appear on the sample ballots produced for voters by the Michigan Voter Information Center (MVIC) Website.

Having already verified his campaign Weblink on the candidate list, John went to do what else the memo suggested:  check a sample ballot at the MVIC site, and verify that the Weblink was there too — and accurate.

Instead, he found no sample ballot, no link to check — and more mistakes on top of those:

* The candidate list MVIC sent him to was the old one for the August 3  primary, not the new one for the November 2 general election.  “It’s been over five weeks since the primary,” John points out. “Almost half of the time between the two elections is gone, and the Bureau is still pointing voters
at the wrong list.”

* And the memo set a “Wednesday, September 17” deadline for candidates to ask for corrections of mistaken or omitted Weblinks.  Any change requested after that date “is not guaranteed to be published on either the candidate listing or the MVIC ballot.” But John reminded the Bureau in his reply to the memo: “September 17 is next Friday; if next Wednesday was the intended date, that would be September 15.”  And since candidates can’t check for errors or omissions yet, and don’t know when they will be able to, both
dates may be too soon to be a fair deadline.

John is asking that the first problem be fixed immediately.  If it cannot be fixed by tomorrow, then he calls on the Bureau to announce tomorrow a firm timetable for fixing it.  He also calls on the Bureau to “reconsider the deadline” for confirming campaign Weblinks, “change it if necessary, take responsibility for the situation, and give candidates both enough notice and enough time to make sure the voters are fully and accurately informed.”

John also wants the Secretary of State’s office and the Bureau of Elections to look at this problem as an opportunity to start serving the public more effectively and efficiently.  “I strongly believe that these offices’ duty to inform the voting public about candidates for a general election starts as soon as the first candidates qualify for that ballot.  I believe this is a matter of fairness to candidates and to voters alike.  But it should also be considered as better management, a way of smoothing out the peaks in workload that will inevitably happen if the Bureau waits until all information is in before doing anything with any of it.”

John’s campaign home page is at

The MVIC memo is posted at

and John’s reply is at

To contact John’s campaign for Secretary of State, please e-mail

or call 269-781-9478.

For a list of 2010 Green Party of Michigan candidates, please visit

or contact GPMI at 548 S Main St; Ann Arbor, MI 48104; 734-663-3555.

#  #  #

For further reference:
The general-election candidate list is at

The gateway page for MVIC is at,1607,7-127–51051–,00.html

and the online center’s main page is at

MVIC’s “Candidate Information Links” page, which so far links only
to the list of primary-election candidates, is at,1607,7-127–51051–,00.html

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