In Berry v Garrett, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that that a candidate for office who fails to indicate his or her voting precinct on the “affidavit of identity” required by the Michigan Election Law is not eligible to be placed on the election ballot. The court interpreted the relevant provisions of the statute as requiring the election officer to verify that the affidavit satisfied the statutory requirements, and to deny ballot access if the affidavit failed to satisfy those requirements. Accordingly, the court issued a writ of mandamus be issued to compel the election officer to remove ineligible candidates from the ballot.
While this case specifically dealt with the precinct-number requirement, its reasoning would seem to apply to all of the statutory requirements in Section 558 of the Election Law, which include a statement that the candidate is a citizen of the United States, the candidate’s number of years of residence in the state and county, and other information that may be required to satisfy the officer as to the identity of the candidate. Election officers should carefully review affidavits of identity to ensure that these requirements are met before placing a candidate’s name on the ballot.