Republican National Committee Sues Over Michigan Voter Rolls

As the 2024 election looms, litigation may arise over voting procedures in some states. Last week, the Republican National Committee sued the Michigan Secretary of State and the Director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections for allegedly violating the National Voter Registration Act. Section 8 of this law requires a state to maintain clean and accurate voter registration records.

The lawsuit claims that many Michigan counties have more active registered voters than they have adult citizens over 18, which is impossible. In certain other counties, the number of active registered voters is allegedly more than 90 percent of adult citizens over 18. While not impossible, this would greatly exceed recent voter registration rates nationally and in Michigan. (The rates in Michigan fell well below 80 percent in both 2020 and 2022.) The lawsuit notes that Michigan previously has seen litigation regarding this issue, although it allegedly has grown much worse since the last presidential election.

The RNC claims that it is suing to protect Republican voters and candidates during the election process. It argues that failing to maintain voter registration records causes a risk of fraudulent or ineligible voting. The complaint also asserts that this burdens the rights of individual Michigan voters, since it could dilute their votes and undermine their confidence in the election process.

The lawsuit asks the court for an order preventing the defendants from continuing to violate this provision of the NVRA. It also asks the court to order the defendants to create registration list maintenance programs that will allow them to comply with the law and prevent ineligible voters from appearing on the rolls.

No evidence has linked poorly maintained voter rolls to incidents of election fraud. The Michigan Secretary of State denounced the lawsuit as “meritless” and “baseless” in a statement, while claiming that hundreds of thousands of voters have been removed from the rolls during her tenure.

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