Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) stunned the political world last Friday with his announcement that he hadn’t turned in enough valid voter signatures to run for a sixth term in Congress, and a new report suggests that his problem is even worse than it appeared.
According to The Detroit News, just 244 of the 2,000 signatures turned in by McCotter are valid. Almost 90 percent of the signatures were deemed invalid, in what appears to be a case of either gross incompetence or obvious fraud.
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.
Additionally, “the petitions appear to be cut and pasted in some cases, as if 2010 petition signatures were transposed onto the 2012 form.”
Chris Thomas, Michigan’s director of elections, told The Detroit News that such obvious copying is “frankly unheard of…It’s amazing when you sit and look, and it starts to dwell on you what they’ve done.”
McCotter, who briefly ran for the Republican presidential nomination before dropping out in September, has claimed that a trusted staffer deceived him by collecting invalid signatures.
“At some point, for something like this to happen, I do feel like someone … lied to me,” McCotter said in a Tuesday morning interview on “The Frank Beckmann Show.” He went on to tell Beckmann that, although a member of his staff may be plotting against him, he finds it more likely that someone made an error while trying to help his campaign.
McCotter has vowed to run a write-in re-election campaign, claiming that facing the voters is “the only way to clean up my mess.” This stunning report will make his campaign an uphill battle, however, especially if the state Attorney General chooses to start a criminal investigation of election law violations.
A spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said today that “we will review information provided by the Secretary of State and determine whether additional action is warranted.”
“We will review information provided by the Secretary of State and determine whether additional action is warranted,” said a Joy Yearout, a spokeswoman for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.