Local officials sue to block law prohibiting ballot info

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – School and local government officials have filed a federal lawsuit to block a new Michigan law that restricts them from informing voters about ballot issues.

The complaint Tuesday against the state alleges the “gag order” law unconstitutionally infringes on free speech rights. Local officials are seeking an injunction so they can disseminate information before March 8 elections.

The Republican-backed law was signed this month by Gov. Rick Snyder, who urged lawmakers to follow up with clarifying legislation. The law prohibits public money or resources from being used to disseminate information about local ballot measures through TV and radio ads, mass mailings or robocalls in the 60 days before an election.

Local officials say there’s no compelling state interest to bar their communications with voters in an “objectively neutral manner.”

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