Monday, October 14, 2013

Michigan Radio highlights RLM's mastery of petition drive

RLM President Barb Listing signs paperwork to submit petitions

A recent segment on Michigan Radio highlighted the petition drive process and Right to Life of Michigan's experience and success using the citizen-initiated process to pass prolife laws.

This is the fourth time Right to Life has responded to a governor’s veto with a petition drive. Michigan’s Medicaid abortion ban (1987), the parental consent abortion law (1990), and the law that banned the dilation-and-extraction procedure (2011) were all enacted as citizen-initiated laws.  
Right to Life can pull this off because its signature-gathering operation is run with assembly line precision. It is one of the very few organizations that can, on its own, as an entirely volunteer operation, gather the signatures needed to initiate a law.......
A petition drive is not easy. You have to gather signatures only of registered voters. The same voter cannot sign two petitions. Your petition circulators all have to be registered voters. And every signature must go onto a petition from the correct county. There’s a lot that can go wrong.
A well-run petition campaign gathers the necessary amount of signatures, and then many thousands more in case some get tossed later. They’ll “scrub” their own petitions of duplicate signatures, non-registered voters, petitions that were filled out incorrectly by circulators.
Right to Life turned in more than 315,000 signatures. It takes about 258,000. That’s a cushion of more than 57,000 signatures. Right to Life figures it threw out 20,000 signatures, just didn’t turn them in, because they were somehow spoiled. The opponents of this drive are not going to stop it because it came up short of signatures.