RNC Files Election Integrity Lawsuit Targeting Michigan’s Handling of Absentee Ballots
RNC Files Election Integrity Lawsuit Targeting Michigan’s Handling of Absentee Ballots

By T, J. Muscaro

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has filed another election integrity lawsuit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Together with the Michigan GOP and the National Republican Congressional Committee, the RNC claims that Ms. Benson is giving incorrect instructions to election officials about verifying absentee voter ballots.

“Michigan’s State Constitution is very clear: election officials have to verify the identity of voters casting absentee ballots,” RNC Chair Michael Whatley said in a statement. “Jocelyn Benson is yet again working to undermine election integrity by secretly instructing officials to disregard and circumvent these clear requirements. The RNC is suing Benson because Michiganders deserve election integrity, not underhanded Democrat schemes.”

This is the second election integrity lawsuit the RNC has filed against Ms. Benson this year.

The latest complaint was filed on March 28 and argues that the state’s constitution requires election officials to “verify the identity” of absentee voters, specifically by comparing the signature on the ballot with the voter’s signature on file. The plaintiffs accuse Ms. Benson of secretly instructing those officials to presume the validity of the signatures, not verify them, by speaking directly to the officials instead of issuing public guidance before the presidential primary in February.

They pointed out that the Michigan Republican Party filed suit over the issue three years ago and that, at that time, the court upheld that Ms. Benson’s instructions were “unlawful.”

“The Secretary’s instructions are unlawful now for the same reason they were unlawful three years ago: they were not adopted in accordance with Michigan’s Administrative Procedure Act,” the RNC said in its official statement. “And they violate Michigan’s constitutional safeguards around absentee voting.”

Other Legal Complaints

The RNC’s other recent lawsuit against Ms. Benson was filed on March 13, accusing her of failing to meet the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act to maintain a proper roll of registered voters.

In a previous statement to The Epoch Times, Ms. Benson said the lawsuit was “meritless.”

“In Michigan, we have done more in the last five years than was done in the previous two decades to remove deceased voters and ineligible citizens from our voting rolls and ensure their accuracy,” she wrote in an email to The Epoch Times, stating that more than 700,000 voter registrations had been canceled in her tenure, with another 520,000 set to be canceled next year. “Federal data shows Michigan is the fifth most active state in the nation in removing the registrations of voters who have died.”

The recent legal actions add to the scores of RNC lawsuits already in motion across the country. In an interview with Newsmax on March 19, Mr. Whatley confirmed that the RNC had 80 lawsuits active in 24 states.

The lawsuits, he said, are to ensure that good laws, rules, and regulations are enforced on the ground. But the party also plans to tackle the issue by ensuring a greater presence of trained individuals inside the polling stations.

Shortly after becoming chairman of the RNC, Mr. Whatley spoke to Breitbart about his plans to secure the election.

“We’re going to recruit and train tens of thousands of volunteers across the country and hundreds and thousands of attorneys across the country to make sure we are in the room when the votes are being cast and the votes are being counted,” he said.

Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.

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