Michigan Secretary Of State Sued By RNC

By Victor Winston, updated on March 15, 2024

In an era where election integrity is scrutinized, a new legal battle unfolds in Michigan.

According to Daily Wire, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has initiated a lawsuit against Michigan Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. The group cites inaccuracies in voter rolls that it claims may affect the 2024 election's integrity.

On Wednesday, the RNC took legal action by lodging a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan against Secretary Benson. The accusation is serious: Benson's office has allegedly not complied with federal laws essential for maintaining accurate voter registration lists. This oversight, the RNC argues, could lead to election outcomes being swayed by votes that should not have been cast.

A Legal Concern Over Voter Registration

At the heart of the lawsuit is the allegation that more than 53 counties in Michigan report some active registered voters that surpass the count of eligible adult citizens. This discrepancy raises significant concern about the potential for election fraud or error, casting doubt on the state’s ability to conduct fair and reliable elections.

According to the RNC's analysis, this problem has only worsened since 2020, with a noticeable increase in counties with voter registration rates above 100%.

RNC Chairman Michael Whatley was forthright in his critique. "Election integrity starts with clean voter rolls, and that’s why the National Voter Registration Act requires state officials to keep their rolls accurate and up-to-date," he stated. The implication here is unmistakable: the RNC views the alleged inaccuracies as clerical errors and fundamental breaches of public trust.

The Battle for Election Integrity

This legal move comes at a time when election integrity talks are more polarized than ever. Secretary Benson, in response, has struck a defiant tone, labeling the lawsuit not as a purge for clarity but as a vehicle for undermining electoral confidence.

Secretary Jocelyn Benson said:

Let’s call this what it is: a PR campaign masquerading as a meritless lawsuit filled with baseless accusations that seek to diminish people’s faith in the security of our elections. Shame on anyone who abuses the legal process to sow seeds of doubt in our democracy.

The statement from the lawsuit further amplifies the RNC's concern, highlighting how Michigan's voter list management—or the lack thereof—ends up "increasing the opportunities for ineligible voters or those with fraudulent intentions to cast ballots."

A Key State in the Electoral Landscape

The lawsuit was filed shortly after a shift in RNC leadership, and some view it as a strategic move inspired by former President Donald Trump's rhetoric on election security. With its history of close electoral margins, Michigan is undoubtedly a focal point for both parties in the lead-up to the 2024 election. The lawsuit's claims about voter registration rates, particularly those mentioning 23 counties with rates over 90%, use Census Bureau data to paint a picture of potential electoral vulnerability.

This legal battle is not merely about numbers or compliance with federal mandates. It speaks to the broader political contest over who gets to vote and how those votes are counted, a debate that's as much about democracy as it is about any specific legal outcome.

Conclusion

The lawsuit by the Republican National Committee against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson of Michigan alleges serious faults with the state's voter rolls, citing violations of the National Voter Registration Act.

With claims of inflated and inaccurate voter lists ahead of a crucial election, the legal tussle underscores deep-seated concerns about election integrity and the mechanisms safeguarding democratic processes. Secretary Benson's forceful dismissal of the lawsuit as a "publicity stunt" hints at the charged atmosphere surrounding electoral administration, an issue that continues to divide opinion across the United States.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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