Reviewing a challenge to the 203,238 valid signatures to put repeal of Michigan’s anti-democratic, union-busting Public Act 4, or Emergency Manager Law, on the November ballot, State Board of Canvassers deadlocked on partisan lines, 2-2. That means that despite the more-than-adequate number of valid signatures, the measure won’t go on the ballot, which would also have put the law on hold until the vote.
One of the Republican members of the board:
[...] works for the Sterling Corporation, a Republican political consulting firm which formed an opposition group called Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility that has challenged the repeal effort. The group says the font size on the petitions is too small, in violation of state rules.
Eclectablog has looked at the font size issue in detail, noting that the legal requirement is for a 14-point boldface font, but that which font is not specified. And:
For example, if you take the Apple Symbols font, another sans serif (“without serif”) font, even though it is 14-point and bold, it’s still much smaller than the other 14-point fonts. It’s even smaller than the petition heading font which is being challenged and yet it’s a completely legitimate font to use and totally legal as the heading font for a petition like this one.
Stand Up for Democracy, which collected the signatures, had an affidavit from the printer affirming that the petition headers were printed in 14-point boldface font. But it’s a little hard to get around an elections board with a member who works for the firm that set up the astroturf group that came up with the font challenge.
According to the Associated Press, the decision can be challenged in court.