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RNC files lawsuit against Michigan Secretary of State over state’s voter rolls

The Republican National Committee (RNC) filed a lawsuit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Wednesday to get the state to review its voter registration rolls.

The committee alleges the state has “failed to live up” to the National Voter Registration Act’s (NVRA) requirement that voter registration rolls must be clean.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, argues that of Michigan’s 83 counties, at least 53 have more registered voters than adults of legal voting age. An additional 23 counties have active voter registration rates that “exceed 90 percent of adult citizens over the age of 18,” the lawsuit said.

“This is not the first time Michigan has failed to abide by the NVRA’s requirements,” the lawsuit said, citing a 2020 lawsuit against Michigan election officials who violated the act’s requirements, which was later dismissed.

The RNC’s lawsuit comes just days after allies of former President Trump took leadership positions and hours after the party confirmed that Trump was the GOP nominee for the 2024 election.  

Michigan, a key swing state, voted for President Biden in the 2020 election. Biden won by 154,000 votes despite Trump’s attempt to urge officials not to certify the results.  

Under the NVRA, states are required to conduct “a general voter registration list maintenance program” that makes a “reasonable effort” to remove people who are ineligible from voter rolls, by death or a move out of state or jurisdiction. It also protects voters from being removed if they may not have voted in years.

The maintenance program must be “uniform, nondiscriminatory and in compliance with the Voting Rights Act,” the Department of Justice said.

The Hill has reached out to Benson for comment, but the Secretary of State said in a statement to NBC News that Michigan has done more in the last five years than in the previous two decades to accurately remove people from the list.

More than 700,000 people have been removed since she took office and more will be if they don’t vote in the general election this fall, the outlet reported.

“Let’s call this what it is: a PR campaign masquerading as a meritless lawsuit filled with baseless accusations that seek to diminish people’s faith in the security of our elections,” Benson’s statement to NBC News said. “Shame on anyone who abuses the legal process to sow seeds of doubt in our democracy.”

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