When residents of the Livonia school district vote Tuesday on a $195 million bond proposal, they may notice a slight change on their ballot application. Under Michigan law, by signing the application, the voter certifies that he or she is a U.S. citizen. The revised application forms also remind voters that they must be citizens in order to vote. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson successfully pushed to add new language to the ballot application to make clear that only U.S. citizens may cast ballots. Tuesday’s election will be the first to use the new language approved by the Legislature.
“A vote is each person’s voice on Election Day, and that voice shouldn’t be diluted by unqualified voters,” Johnson said.
Johnson also has sought assistance from the federal government with identifying noncitizen voters, but her requests so far have not been granted.
On Thursday, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the filing of a criminal charge against Jos√© Antonio Ramirez-Vel√°zquez, a citizen of Mexico, for registering to vote and voting while residing in Roseville. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Border Patrol and the Roseville Police Department. Ramirez-Vel√°zquez, 47, of Roseville has been charged with one count of Making a Material False Statement When Registering to Vote, a 90-day misdemeanor.
“This example shows why my efforts to make clear that only citizens must vote when voters pick up their ballot were needed,” Johnson said.