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RNC Sues Michigan Secretary of State Over Voting Issues

In a recent development, Jocelyn Benson, the Democratic Secretary of State in Michigan, has become the focal point of a legal challenge initiated by the Republican National Committee (RNC). The contention arises from accusations that Benson covertly attempted to circumvent the state’s safeguards for absentee voting.

The core of the dispute, as reported by the Washington Examiner, revolves around allegations that Benson secretly directed Michigan’s election officials, instructing them to assume the validity of signatures on absentee ballots prior to the state’s presidential primary in February. This directive, according to the RNC’s legal claim, contravenes Michigan’s constitutional and legal stipulations concerning election conduct.

The lawsuit emphasizes a crucial point: the process of verifying signatures on absentee ballots is a matter of factual confirmation rather than conjecture. It asserts that election officials, under Benson’s guidance, were expected to validate signatures despite noticeable inconsistencies, a practice that the lawsuit argues is fundamentally at odds with both the Michigan Constitution and Michigan Election Law.

Michigan’s legal framework mandates that election officials verify the signatures on absentee ballots by comparing them with the signatures in voter registration records. A discrepancy requires the officials to inform the concerned voters, allowing them ample time to rectify the issue. This procedural safeguard is designed to uphold the integrity of the voting process.

RNC Chairman Michael Whatley expressed concerns over Benson’s actions, accusing her of undermining the integrity of elections by allegedly instructing officials to overlook and bypass the stringent verification requirements outlined in Michigan’s state constitution. The lawsuit by the RNC underscores a demand for adherence to legal standards and the protection of election integrity, opposing what they perceive as deceptive practices.

Adding another layer to the controversy, the RNC has also taken legal action against Benson for purported non-adherence to federal regulations pertaining to the maintenance of Michigan’s voter registration lists. The lawsuit alleges that a significant majority of Michigan counties have voter rolls that exceed the number of eligible residents, suggesting a systemic issue with the state’s compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

This legal confrontation highlights a broader national debate on election integrity and the administration of voter registration systems, reflecting deep-seated partisan divides over the management of electoral processes.