WASHINGTON, DC – Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson recently announced plans to remove 177,000 outdated voter registrations from the state’s voter rolls. Benson was alerted last year to evidence of inflated voter rolls—a clear red flag that old registrations were not being adequately removed. After she formally denied any issues existed with Michigan’s practices, Michigan voter Tony Daunt filed suit under the National Voter Registration Act. That lawsuit, which HEP supports, aims to compel Benson to comply with the NVRA’s list maintenance mandates.
Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, released the following statement:
“This is a sharp reversal. For seven months, Secretary Benson has insisted to the court and to the public that Michigan’s voter rolls were being properly maintained. Now she admits they were not. Per her own press release, Michigan lacks ‘sufficient comprehensive efforts’ to keep the voter rolls clean. For two years, Secretary Benson has had the responsibility to keep Michigan’s voter rolls clean. If there were longstanding problems, she should have taken steps to correct them long before today, three months after a national election. HEP will continue to ensure that Michigan’s officials are conducting the active and ongoing list maintenance that federal law requires and that voters deserve.”
Tony Daunt, plaintiff:
“The National Voter Registration Act protects the franchise of every Michigan voter, and it’s disappointing – but not surprising – that it took a federal lawsuit to force Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to comply with election law,” said Daunt. “Election integrity matters, and those who threaten it must be held accountable, regardless of party affiliation or status. I’m grateful that our hard work has forced Benson to finally comply with election law.”