DETROIT – A judge on Friday ordered U.S. Rep. John Conyers’ name placed on the August primary ballot, trumping Michigan election officials who said the Democrat was ineligible because of problems with his nominating petitions.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman appeared to diminish the possibility that Conyers – No. 2 in seniority in the House – might have to mount a write-in campaign to keep his 50-year congressional career alive.
Conyers needed 1,000 petition signatures to get a spot in the Democratic primary. But many petitions were thrown out because the people who gathered names weren’t registered voters or listed a wrong registration address. That left him more than 400 short.
But Leitman issued an injunction putting Conyers on the ballot. He said a Michigan law that puts strict requirements on petition circulators is similar to an Ohio law that was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal appeals court in 2008.