Federal Judge Orders Citizenship Checkbox Removed From Michigan Ballots

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said she ordered the citizenship verification to prevent voter fraud.

A citizenship checkbox ordered by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will not appear on Michigan ballots in November, a federal judge ruled today. 

According to a report filed by Michigan Public Radio, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman ruled that the checkbox "slows the voting process, is confusing and is a burden on the right to vote."

In a press release issued Friday evening, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) explained that a voting rights coalition, including the Clerk of Ingham County, three registered voters, the Michigan State Council and Local 517M of the SEIU and the ACLU of Michigan, filed the suit.

In July, Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a portion of a new election law that would have required people to reaffirm their citizenship at the polls. In a statement published on the Secretary of State's website, Johnson said she ordered the checkbox be included on ballots in order to prevent voter fraud. 

Quoted in the SEIU release, plaintiff Glenn Rehahn of Shelby Township said the ruling "shows that nobody is above the law. When I tried to vote in the past, my rights were denied because I would not affirm my citizenship, which has never been in question. I shouldn't have had to jump through one more hoop to cast my ballot. This is a big victory for voting rights in Michigan because voters won't have to face the same barrier I did."

Cathy Fucinari October 07, 2012 at 05:26 PM
If you are a registered voter, you have already established your citizenship. Repeated requests amount to the harassment of voters. The law prohibits such behavior.
Cathy Fucinari October 07, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Illegals don't vote.
Lynn Gross October 08, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Please read Jack Lessenberry's commentary: http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-citizenship-and-voting
Brian Vosburg October 09, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Trenton Resident, The last 3 Secretaries of State in Michigan (including in 2008) have all been Republicans, none of them close to being a liberal.
Sadie October 09, 2012 at 06:47 PM
FYI... The voter registration deadline for Michigan is Oct. 9. Here’s information on how you can register in Dearborn in time for the Nov. 6 elections: •Head to the Dearborn City Clerk's office, located on the first floor of Dearborn City Hall. The clerk's office is open 8 a.m-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. •Any Secretary of State office offers voter registration. Dearborn has one at 5094 Schaefer Road. It's open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Wednesday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. •Dearborn's Republican Victory Center, located at 22707 Michigan Ave., has voter registration on site. Same goes for Dearborn's Obama for America office, located at 13742 Michigan Ave. Remember: A valid driver's license or state ID must be shown in many cases when registering to vote. If you don't have either, check with the location beforehand to see if other forms of identification are acceptible. Voter registration cards generally take two weeks to arrive by mail. When you get yours, don't forget to go out and vote Nov. 6!


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