LANSING, Mich. (PATCH) — A group organized with the intention of protecting the executive powers of Michigan’s governor during a public emergency has called for a halt in reviewing signatures gathering by a group hoping to take away those powers.

Keep Michigan Safe this week sent a letter to the Michigan Bureau of Election urging the department to stop its preliminary review of signatures gathered and submitted by Unlock Michigan until an investigation into the group’s gathering of signatures is completed by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

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“We want to ensure that appropriate steps are being taken to secure and preserve all the petition sheets submitted by Unlock Michigan,” the group wrote in the letter. “We understand that they have conceded the tactics used by one of their vendors, In the Field, violated the Michigan Election Law and segregated at least a portion of those petition sheets.

“Our concerns are that based on public statements made by Unlock Michigan that not every petition sheet collected by In the Field was segregated – only those dated after the date of the media reports disclosing the unlawful activity,” the letter continues. “In addition, we have received additional reports and evidence that the unlawful conduct was not limited to those circulators working for In the Field, but also included countless volunteers who circulated signatures.”

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Unlock Michigan started a petition in the early portion of the coronavirus pandemic seeking to repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945, which allowed Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to issue states of emergencies during the pandemic because it was deemed a crisis.

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