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Court Rules in Favor of Absentee Voter Ballot Applications

Sep 18, 2020

The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s ruling that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was lawfully permitted to send out unsolicited absentee voter ballot applications to registered voters. In a 2-1 decision, the appellate court ruled that state law and the Michigan Constitution allow Secretary Benson to mail the applications, as the Michigan Court of Claims determined in its August 25 opinion.

The judges wrote that Benson acted within the directives outlined for her office in the constitution and state law, and by furnishing the applications, she furthered the purposes of informing qualified registered voters of their right to vote by absentee ballot – if they so choose. In his dissenting opinion, Judge Patrick Meter argued that the Secretary of State was not expressly granted the authority to send unsolicited absentee voter ballot applications by the Legislature under state law.

To view the majority opinion from the Court of Appeals, please click here. To view the minority opinion, please click here.

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