Michigan Secretary Of State Faces Legal Action From Unions And Advocacy Groups After Discovering 4000 Non-Citizen Voters? Nope, No Voter Fraud Going On There!

Posted on September 22, 2012

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Michigan (The Gaslamp Post) – A fiasco is brewing up in the great northern state of Michigan that is set to boil over this coming November.  Secretary of State Ruth Johnson became the target of labor unions, voter’s rights advocacy groups, and a handfull of voters early this week, when she found herself at the receiving end of a lawsuit filed against her over a simple ballot application question.

The plaintiffs in the suit allege that this one simple question would stall and unnecessarily delay the electoral process, and may even hinder legitimate voters in casting their lawful ballots.  It is for this reason that the group is seeking a federal judge to order in injunction, preventing the question; this one simple question, from appearing on this coming November’s ballots.

Ruth Johnson, Secretary of State of the State of Michigan

The question; “Are you a U.S. citizen?” seems to have a few people concerned with this coming election rather upset.

“As demonstrated in the Aug. 7, 2012, primary election, the citizenship checkbox will delay, and in some cases, hinder registered electors from voting. Those effects will be significantly magnified in the general election, and due to confusion and inconsistency in administration, they will apply to Michigan voters unequally,” the lawsuit alleges.

A day later, Madame Secretary of State Johnson came forward to publicly acknowledge the lawsuit, but then revealed why she sought to have the new question on the ballot application.  As it turns out, the state of Michigan has an estimated 4000 non-citizens who somehow found their ways onto the registered voter rolls.

Proposed new Michigan State voter application form

Secretary Johnson said that she’s basing this estimate on information she obtained in an investigation during which she found a huge number of non-citizens registered to vote in Michigan.  She said that her findings are based on the information of only about 1/5 of the entire state population, because the White House is intentionally hindering her efforts to get to the bottom of this.

Johnson said the results of a “very tedious” analysis of 58,000 driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards found 963 noncitizens registered to vote.

Department of State employees cross-referenced those noncitizens with voting records and found 54 have a voting history and have voted a total of 95 times, Johnson said.

Using census estimates that 305,000 noncitizens live in Michigan, Johnson’s office extrapolated that 5,064 could be noncitizens and then lowered its estimate to 4,000 to account for children, spokeswoman Gisgie Gendreau said.

Johnson, a Republican, also implied President Barack Obama and Democratic county and city clerks are obstructing her efforts to root out noncitizen voters. She specifically noted her office found 80 noncitizens registered to vote in Macomb County, where County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh, a Democrat, has said she won’t let the citizenship question appear on applications to vote.

“I don’t think anybody wants noncitizens to vote no matter what their party affiliation to vote,” Johnson said.

According to those who have brought forth the lawsuit, Johnson is being ridiculous, and her move to place the simple question on the ballot is absurd.

“It’s a solution in search of a problem,” said Kary Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan. “In the absence of proof that there’s a widespread voting problem, the secretary of state, who has enormous powers, should not be implementing new practices that are not going to solve a legitimate problem but instead fan the flames of the myth of fraud.”

Even still, clerks in some Michigan counties are going to voluntarily defy the Secretary’s order to use the new ballots.  Clerks in Lansing as well as Macomb County plan on removing the question all together, and the elections board in Washtenaw County have voted to strike the question from their ballots as well, leaving it optional for cities to choose whether or not to even feature the citizenship question.

“It seems like it doesn’t really add anything positive to the process. People have already affirmed their citizenship when they register to vote,” Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope told The Detroit News.

Secretary Johnson is holding firm against these actions by various clerks, insisting that after her findings, there is should be some measure in place, especially now that she’s discovered the presence of non US citizens on the voter rolls.

[Johnson] has insisted voters affirm their citizenship so the state can root out an unknown number of noncitizen immigrants who have been inadvertently registered to vote over the years while getting a driver’s license at a Secretary of State office. Noncitizens who vote can face felonies, be denied naturalized citizenship or be deported, immigration attorneys say.

“Warning people that they may be committing a criminal act is a good thing,” said Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard Jr., a Republican who supports the question.