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  • Writer's pictureBryan Watson

Voter Suppression - Aggressive Voter Purge


Imagine that you’ve arrived at your voting place on Election Day only to learn that you’ve “died”!

Would that be confusing? disturbing? maddening?

Or perhaps you’ve applied for an Absent Voter ballot - you’ve waited and waited, until Election Day is just around the corner, and you still have no ballot. You look into it and discover that you’re no longer registered to vote.

What would you do? How would you vote? Who would you call?

This sounds ridiculous and it is … except that some partisan elections officials and organizations are working around the country to make that happen. They are scouring voter files with a goal of declaring that voters are dead or that they’ve moved away or that they’re registered twice or three times. Where the Elections Officials are not conducting these purges themselves, these organizations are using the court system to force an “aggressive purge” of the voter rolls in cities, states, and counties around the country.

These are aggressive efforts to reduce the number of voters. They call it “election integrity” - we call it “voter suppression.”

In Detroit, there is an active lawsuit[1][2] against the City Clerk and the Detroit Elections officials to erase thousands of eligible voters from the voter files.

Across Michigan, there is an active lawsuit[3] against the Michigan Secretary of State and 16 counties to purge thousands of eligible voters from the voter files.

Although the League of Women Voters, the Brennan Center for Justice, Demos, and other organizations are defending against these voter suppression efforts, YOU should take care to make sure that your voting rights are secure.

Are YOU registered to vote? Are you SURE?

Be a Voter, Not a Victim. In Michigan, verify your own registration at MI.GOV/VOTE. If there is anything unusual, immediately contact your local clerk’s office.


[1] Brennan Center for Justice. Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Winfrey.

[2] League of Women Voters of Michigan. LWV of Michigan and LWV of Detroit Join Voter Purge Case.

[3] Bridge Magazine. Lawsuit: Jocelyn Benson allowing ‘suspiciously high’ voter registration rates.


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