There will be a “hitch” in the voting process if U.S. citizenship check boxes are used on ballot applications at the polls during the Nov. 6 presidential election. That’s the crux of an argument by a voting rights coalition that is challenging the use of the check boxes and is asking a federal judge in Detroit to issue a preliminary injunction to stop Secretary of State Ruth Johnson from requiring the boxes on ballot applications. “Our evidence shows there will be many jurisdictions where the voters will not be asked to check the citizenship box, others where they will be asked if there is no injunction,” Mary Ellen Gurewitz, an attorney for the coalition argued today before U.S. District Court Judge Paul D. Borman. “There will be this hitch.”
The coalition filed a lawsuit against Johnson, who was ordered to appear in court and did so today, over her plans to require the question on the small applications that voters fill out at the polls that also ask for their name, address and date of birth.
Johnson’s office has said the state’s voter rolls have as many as 4,000 registered voters who are not U.S. citizens and that she wants to ensure noncitizens get one last chance to not vote, pointing out that they could be committing a felony, face large legal fees, be deported or have problems pursuing U.S. citizenship. The coalition says the boxes are unconstitutional and violate federal and state law.