Monday, October 13, 2008

Upholding Voting Rights- a Win in Michigan

The ACLU is doing critical work in Voting Rights Protection. And we had a big win in Michigan. A judge today ruled that Michigan’s voter removal program violates federal law and ordered the state to stop illegally purging voters from the rolls.

Judge Stephen J. Murphy of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that one of Michigan’s voter removal programs violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). In question was a Michigan state law requiring local clerks to nullify the registrations of newly-registered voters whenever their voter identification cards are returned by the post office as undeliverable. (This would be a big deal in areas with recent foreclosures for sure!)

Detroit elections officials report that nearly 30,000 voters per year in that city alone are removed from the rolls as a result of this state election law.

The NVRA permits voters to remain on the voter rolls for at least two federal elections after voter registration cards are returned. So the Micigan state removal law was clearly in violation. It is unknown how this will effect people that have already been purged but this is a good win for We the People.