MI Counties Have More Registered Voters Than Eligible Citizens

MI Counties Have More Registered Voters Than Eligible Citizens

The Republican National Committee (RNC) filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, alleging the state’s voter rolls are inflated with ineligible voters.

The suit claims that 53 of the state’s 83 counties have more registered voters than they do residents who are eligible to vote. Twenty-three other counties also allegedly have “suspiciously high” voter registration rates of 90 percent or more, which does not comport with the nationwide voter registration rate, according to the suit.

The RNC sent a letter to Benson in December notifying the state of “78 Michigan counties that are in violation of section 8 and formally requesting that they correct the violations within 90 days,” the lawsuit notes.

Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires states to maintain accurate voter registration rolls and to have a program in place that works to remove ineligible voters from the rolls in the instance of death or an address change.

Benson failed to clean the state’s voter rolls, according to the RNC, which alleges that “retaining voter rolls bloated with ineligible voters harms the electoral process, heightens the risk of electoral fraud, and undermines public confidence in elections.”

“Several Michigan counties have inactive registration rates of 15% or greater, well above the state and national averages,” the suit reads. “Having a high percentage of inactive registrations is an indication that a state or jurisdiction is not removing inactive registrations after two general federal elections.”

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) lodged a similar suit in 2021 that was recently tossed out after the court ruled the state was removing dead voters from its rolls and therefore was not in violation of the NVRA.

PILF filed the suit after Benson allegedly failed to remove roughly 26,000 dead voters from the rolls in 2020. PILF purchased voter roll data from the state and hired an analytics team to compare the voters’ names to social security records and other documents, a PILF spokeswoman told The Federalist last year.

One of the voters still on the state’s list at the time the suit was filed was Pauline Schmainda, who was born in 1908 and died in 1990. Her obituary was posted in the Detroit Free Press.

But U.S. District Court Judge Jane Beckering of the Western District of Michigan dismissed the PILF suit, claiming “the record demonstrates that deceased voters are removed from Michigan’s voter rolls on a regular and ongoing basis.”

Beckering ruled the state has made a “reasonable effort” to keep the rolls clean despite contrary claims from PILF attorneys, who said the thousands of dead registrants are proof the state isn’t doing enough.

Brianna Lyman is an elections correspondent at The Federalist.

Originally Posted on: https://thefederalist.com/2024/03/13/michigan-has-more-registered-voters-than-eligible-citizens-in-53-counties-says-rnc-lawsuit/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=michigan-has-more-registered-voters-than-eligible-citizens-in-53-counties-says-rnc-lawsuit
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