Skip to comments.State: Federal lawsuit coming because 70 clerks missed Ballot deadlines to military.
Posted on 07/27/2012 5:14:31 PM PDT by cripplecreek
LANSING, MI - The U.S. Justice Department is expected to sue the state because at least 70 city and township clerks across Michigan missed deadlines to give absentee ballots to military and overseas voters, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said late Friday.
Under state and federal law, clerks are supposed to make absentee ballots available at least 45 days before an election to military and overseas voters who request them. The primary election is Aug. 7.
Johnson, a Republican, said the suit could force clerks to extend the time for receiving and counting affected ballots.
Johnson said 70 communities missed the deadline - including larger ones such as Battle Creek, Ferndale, Dearborn and Canton Township. Another 215 clerks did not respond to repeated requests from Johnson's office for a status on whether they provided the ballots.
Michigan has more than 1,500 local clerks responsible for conducting elections.
"It is critical that our overseas and military members - who put their lives on the line every day to protect our freedom - get a right to participate in the very system they are protecting," she said in a statement.
The state Bureau of Elections sent at least three reminders to clerks before the 45-day deadline, Johnson said, and also has a calendar of dates to help clerks.
She has instructed clerks in the affected communities to immediately contact military and overseas voters and offer a new ballot if they did not get one.
Johnson said she will ask the Legislature to stiffen "administrative remedies" so federal lawsuits are not needed.
Absentee ballots for military and overseas voters can be provided by mail or email. Email saves clerks as much as two weeks in arrival and response times.
Clerks that missed the deadline - mostly township clerks - handle elections in counties such as Bay, Genesee, Kent, Van Buren, Muskegon and Kalamazoo.
For a list of municipalities that missed the deadline, click here. For a list of those that did give a status update to the state,
click here (pdf)
Yes, I'm aware of Hillsdale College, one of the very few colleges in the US that refuses funding from government. Mark Levin regularly talks about them on his radio show.
So is the motivation of the Obama-Holder lawsuit primarily to embarrass and hassle the Michigan SOS and some of these local election clerks?
I don’t really understand what happened. Some of the townships listed are very rural and very sparsely populated. Some of them probably don’t have more than 1 or 2 serving in the military.
Hillsdale county only has a population of around 50,000 total. I just don’t understand how they could mess it up.
I saw my township treasurer this evening and she’s telling me that some of the clerks are saying that they didn’t get the ballots back from the printers till after the deadline. She’s saying that the constant court challenges are getting so bad that they hold things up till the last minute.
She said that one of the soldiers from our township would be voting electronically because he was out in the sticks in Afghanistan when he was transferred from one unit to another.She said it was virtually impossible to track him down. She says the real problem is that the clerks didn’t coordinate with the SOS as well as they should have.
She and I are of the same mind. No one should get ballots until the military all have theirs in hand and the cutoff date for court challenges at least 6 to 8 weeks before the election.
Websites for military veterans who want to help active duty troops: