CHICAGO - Michigan lawmakers are trying to fix an election snafu that wiped every Flint mayoral candidate off the primary ballot and spurred a write-in candidacy on behalf of a pig named Giggles.
After the city clerk gave the wrong filing deadline, all mayoral hopefuls but one filed late signature petitions.
The one who filed early did not have enough signatures. The mistake could mean an empty ballot in the August mayoral primary. The problem also affects two city council seats.
Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, introduced Senate Bill 329 on May 12, which would give the secretary of state the authority to allow Flint candidates on the ballot even if they missed the deadline. State Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint, introduced a similar bill in the House. The bills are written to apply only to Flint and to expire by Dec. 31, 2015.
The Senate measure could be taken up as soon as today.
A Flint attorney, meanwhile, garnered national attention - and lots of local Facebook support -- when he sponsored his pig, named Giggles, as a write-in candidate, saying an all-write-in election would lead to an unqualified leader.
Michael Ewing said he decided to run the pig to draw attention to what he says are the slate of poor choices in the election.
"She is a sweet and intelligent animal - which is more than can be said for some of the candidates," Ewing said in a statement.
Flint City Clerk Inez Brown gave all candidates a deadline of April 28 for filing their signature petitions when the actual state deadline was April 21, according to local reports. The Secretary of State later informed Brown that none of the candidates were qualified to go on the ballot.
The problem was revealed a day after Gov. Rick Snyder lifted Flint's financial emergency and began the process of returning the city to local control.