Lawsuit filed against Michigan Secretary of State for leaving 25,000 dead registrants on voter rolls

Lawsuit filed against Michigan Secretary of State for
leaving 25,000 dead registrants on voter rolls 1

LANSING, MI- On Wednesday, November 3rd, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed an explosive lawsuit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson alleging she failed to remove more than 25,000 potentially deceased registrants from voter rolls after being notified of the issue on multiple occasions.

The law firm, which is dedicated solely to election integrity, first allegedly notified Benson about the potentially deceased voters back in September 2020 after extensively reviewing and cross referencing state records.

The lawsuit accuses Benson of violating the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. In a statement in the lawsuit, president of the PILF, J. Christian Adams, said in a statement:

“This case is about ensuring that deceased registrants are not receiving ballots.”

Adams added:

“For over a year, we’ve shared specific data with the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office about the alarming problem of deceased registrants on Michigan’s voter rolls.

Secretary Benson has done nothing to resolve the problem and is even refusing to hand over public documents related to these failures. The failure to remove deceased registrants creates an opportunity for fraud and makes Michigan’s elections less secure.”

As a result of Benson’s refusal to change or comply, the firm had to repurchase voter data reports several times over the course of a year to make sure its investigation was up to date. The lawsuit stated:

“The Foundation has spent many thousands of dollars reviewing Michigan’s election procedures and documented failures to maintain an accurate and correct voter roll as required by the NVRA [National Voter Registration Act of 1993].

Defendant’s unlawful list maintenance program has forced the Foundation to incur substantial costs comparing Michigan’s voter rolls to the Social Security Death Index [SSDI], various commercial databases, and other sources on order to identify deceased registrants.”

As of August 2021, there were more than 25,975 deceased registrants on Michigan’s voter rolls. Of those 25,975:

23,663 registrants have been dead for five years or more;
17,479 registrants have been dead for at least a decade; and
3,956 registrants have been dead for at least 20 years

According to the firm:

“For example, the Foundation discovered one registrant who, if alive today, would be 100 years old. She died over two decades ago, but remains an active voter on Michigan’s voter rolls. The Foundation even found her obituary from the Detroit Free Press.”

PILF found another registrant who would be 108-years-old if she was still alive. The firm reported:

“She also died over two decades go. The Foundation also found her obituary in the Detroit Free Press and her gravestone online.”

According to the lawsuit, Michigan is in violation of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires officials to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters.”

After the firm notified Benson numerous times, she issued a press release on January 28th touting her efforts to “bolster election security.” However, no substantial evidence has been found indicating that Benson had actually removed deceased voters. The release said:

“…Approximately 177,000 voter registrations slated for cancellation because the state has reason to believe the voter has moved away from the registration address.”

Upon further investigation of this, PILF found that none of the 177,000 registrations overlapped with the potentially deceased registrants the firm had notified Benson about. The firm found that many registrants have “voter registration dates after the reported date of their death.”

PILF is asking the court to declare Benson in violation of the NVRA and to order an immediate and thorough investigation of the deceased registrants uncovered by the Foundation and have them removed.

The firm is also asking the court to order Benson to allow an inspection of records about the implementation of programs ensuring accuracy of Michigan’s official list of eligible voters and for the court to protect against future malpractice by ordering Benson to cross reference names of new registrants against the SSDI.

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Texas House Speaker signs arrest warrants for 52 Democrats who skipped town to block voting

August 12th, 2021

AUSTIN, TX – Republicans in Texas are taking action to return Democratic lawmakers back to the state by threatening them with arrest, and 52 arrest warrants have already been signed.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan on Tuesday evening signed civil arrest warrants for 52 House Democrats still missing from the state Capitol as he aims to regain the quorum needed for the chamber to begin moving legislation during the second special session.

State lawmakers voted 80-12 to give law enforcement the authority to hunt down wayward Democrats and return them to the House of Representatives.

A majority of House Democrats left Texas on July 12 in a bid to deny Republicans the quorum needed to pass new voting restrictions. At least two dozen House Democrats have stayed in Washington, D.C., where 57 of them previously fled for all or most of a month to run out the clock on Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s first special session.

Democrats issued a statement at the time saying:

“Today, Texas House Democrats stand united in our decision to break quorum and refuse to let the Republican-led legislature force through dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ freedom to vote.”

Grand Prairie Rep. Chris Turner, who chairs the Texas House Democratic Caucus, said Tuesday:

“It is fully within our rights as legislators to break quorum to protect our constituents. Texas House Democrats are committed to fighting with everything we have against Republicans’ attacks on our freedom to vote.”

A lone Republican voted against issuing the arrest warrants. Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) commented on the arrest warrants:

“Have we got to the point where we believe our own bull shizz so much that we arrest our own colleagues? Civil discourse took a nasty turn today.”

If Democrats are arrested on warrants, they would not face criminal charges. They would be transported back to the House and released.

Gov. Abbott called a second special session last month to reconsider the bill Democrats successfully blocked in May with a walk-out.

Nineteen of the absent Democrats had a brief win in court on Monday when District Judge Brad Urrutia signed an order preventing the arrests for 14 days.

Republicans had the order overturned quickly by the Texas Supreme Court.

Democratic Rep. Celia Israel said she does not take the arrest warrants seriously:

“I think they’re bluffing. Do they really want to arrest a woman of color?

“They’re just thumping their chests.”

Republican lawmakers are expressing optimism that the arrest warrants will persuade Democrats to return. Rep. Matt Krause (R) said:

“I hope this kind of wakes them up and allows them to say, ‘All right, it’s time to get back to work.”

Some House Democrats did return this week, but not enough to establish the required 100 representative quora needed to vote on the controversial bill.

Drama also played out over the bill in the Texas Senate today. The Texas Senate passed their version of the voting bill, shortly after a Democratic legislator concluded a 15-hour filibuster of the proposal.

Carol Alvarado (D) yielded after the marathon filibuster, paving the way for passage of the bill by the Republican majority by a vote of 18-11.

During her closing remarks, Alvarado asked her colleagues to oppose the bill:

“As we draw this discussion to an end, it is my sincere hope that civil acts by everyday Texans, from the Senate floor to the ballot box, can help to shed the light on all important issues.

“What do we want our democracy to look like?”

If Republicans can gain a quorum in the House and pass the bill, it will go to Gov. Abbott for his signature.

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LET Unity

Gov. Abbott says Democrats who fled Texas to try and block a bill will be arrested upon return

July 13, 2021

TEXAS – During a recent appearance on Fox News, Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated that Democratic lawmakers who fled the state of Texas in an effort to stop the legislature from holding a quorum to vote on an elections-related bill will be arrested when they return to Texas.

On July 12th, Governor Abbott appeared on Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” to discuss the state’s elections overhaul bill and also brought up the Democrats from the legislature that fled the state in order to stall from voting on the elections bill.

According to Governor Abbott, members of the Texas House of representatives who are still in the state of Texas can call for the arrests of their colleagues when they do not show up to vote on matters. The only problem is these Democratic lawmakers can only be arrested in the state of Texas.

However, Governor Abbott says that once they set foot back in Texas, they will be arrested for intentionally abdicating from their duties:

“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business.”

These Democratic legislators from Texas are not shy about what they’re trying to do, as they’ve all flown out to Washington, DC and have proclaimed that they are intentionally abdicating from their duties in order to run out the clock on the special legislative session to kill the elections bill.

Apparently, Democratic legislators in Texas feel as though Republicans in the state House are trying to suppress potential voters by way of passing their elections-related bill, whereas Republicans feel these legislative efforts would ensure voting/election integrity.

Senator Ted Cruz recently shared remarks on the “political stunt” that Texas Democrats have pulled by way of fleeing the state to abdicate from their duties they’re obligated to partake in:

“What we’re seeing from these Texas Democrats is nothing short of a political stunt and cheap political theater. They’re protesting doing the jobs they were elected to do, and instead flying to Washington, D.C. on private jets. Texas is considering an important bill that would strengthen Texas’s voting rights and election integrity.”

Jessica Anderson, the president of Heritage Action, mirrored the sentiments of Senator Cruz, saying the state Democrats have “abandoned their constituents”:

“Instead of showing up to represent Texans and pass popular election integrity laws, Texas Democrats walked out of the special session, boarded private jets to DC, and abandoned their constituents.”

“With this political stunt, Texas Democrats turned their backs on the majority of Texans who support common-sense election integrity efforts like voter ID requirements and protections against ballot harvesting.”

Whether or not Texas Democrats will be able to run out the clock for the month-long special session is debatable, but even the Associated Press reported that the stunt is unlikely to work since these legislators have “families to feed and mortgages to pay.”

Not only are the Texas Democrats subject to arrest upon their return to the state, but they’re also putting themselves at risk of losing their legislative pay and opening themselves up to lawsuits for their illegal efforts.
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