LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson appears to be continuing her “Defend Democracy” crusade while simultaneously refusing to take an upwards of 26,000 decedents off the voter rolls.

 

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In August, U.S. Western District Court of Michigan Judge Jane M. Beckering denied Benson’s effort to dismiss a lawsuit brought against her office by the Public Interest Legal Foundation’s (PILF). Their claim stemmed from Benson’s refusal to remove deceased registrants from Michigan’s voter roll.

PILF’s analysis of the deceased individuals reveals this breakdown:

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

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In the judge’s ruling, she explained that Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act requires election officials to remove deceased voters from the registration list. When it comes to deceased voters, the typical deadline to make changes 90 days before an election does not apply.

Michigan News Source reached out to Benson’s office and asked if she had started removing deceased residents from the voter rolls. MNS also asked when she plans to start the removal process if she hasn’t already done so, but did not receive a response by press time.

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Republican Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo claimed she witnessed fraud as a poll challenger at the TCF Center in Detroit during Michigan’s count of absentee ballots in 2020. This motivated her to run against Benson.

In addition, GOP gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon has been mixed in with so-called “election deniers.” Sara Broadwater, Dixon’s communications director, released this statement to Michigan News Source: “In 2020, Jocelyn Benson knowingly and willfully broke laws designed to secure our elections, which directly correlates to people’s lack of faith in the integrity of our process. Gretchen Whitmer has since vetoed dozens of popular, common-sense election integrity measures like voter ID. So, there’s no reason to believe they are very serious about secure elections, but if they follow the letter of the law as is this time around I believe we can all have a reasonable amount of faith in the process. Tudor Dixon wants it to be easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

Early voting begins September 29; the general election is November 8.