POLITICS
12/18/2012 04:52 pm ET

President's Name Misspelled On Michigan Electoral College Documents

Documents presented to electors at Monday's meeting of the Michigan Electoral College in Lansing spelled President Barack Obama's first name as Barak.

The documents were prepared by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson (R) for the ceremonial meeting, which officially elected Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the Macomb Daily reported. State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Witmer (D-Lansing), the presiding officer of the Michigan Electoral College, noticed the typo.

Johnson's office prepared new documents for the electors to sign. The documents formally award the votes to Obama and will be mailed to Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Archivist David Ferriero and a federal judge, along with copies that Johnson will keep on file. Biden is scheduled to open the envelopes containing the electoral votes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia at a joint session of Congress in January. Michigan has 16 electoral votes.

Witmer was not just in spellcheck mode in her role as presiding officer. She used the meeting, normally a ceremonial occasion, to rail against the right-to-work legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder (R) last week. Witmer said she wanted to bring to light the legislation, which is described as being rushed through the state legislature last week.

"We know that Michigan is a state that believes in opportunity and embraces a vision for our nation that looks forward, not one that focuses on an extreme ideological agenda," Witmer told electors, MLive.com reported. "Yet last week in this same chamber, we saw one of the most extreme and overtly political agendas in Michigan's history, rushed through in the cover of night without any public input."

Johnson, who was elected secretary of state in 2010, made news before in her role as Michigan's chief elections officer. Over the summer, she insisted on including a check box on voter registration forms asking people to attest to being a citizen. The decision came after state legislators rejected legislation to require the check box. Johnson is a former Oakland County clerk and register of deeds and she unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in 2006. As secretary of state, she oversees elections and the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, along with serving on the state Truck Safety Commission.

The electoral college meetings nationwide were largely uneventful on Monday. In Arizona though, three Republican electors, including the state Republican Party chairman, raised birther movement issues and questioned if Obama's birth certificate was legitimate. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) said she disagreed with the three electors.

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