Each election season, local municipal clerks find themselves in the position of having to review signatures on recall election petitions. One recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision summarized the scope of a municipal clerk’s authority to review the validity of signatures on a recall petition. McCoy, et al. v Berrien County Clerk, et al., __ Mich App __, (Mich Ct App, Oct 19, 2023) (Case No. 365187) (publication pending). In McCoy, the Court of Appeals held that a local clerk may check the genuineness of signatures appearing on a recall petition to determine whether those signatures match the qualified voter file, regardless of whether any person has brought a challenge to the validity of the signatures. The Court of Appeals also stated that a local municipal clerk has no duty to validate signatures on a recall petition where: (1) the elector did not personally write in their address; (2) the date of the signature cannot be verified; or (3) there are duplicate signatures for the same elector. When duplicate signatures for the same elector appear on a recall petition, the Court of Appeals stated that the local clerk may disqualify both the duplicate signature and the elector’s original signature. If you have questions about recall and referendum petitions, our attorneys are here to help.