ACLU and Partners Vow to Appeal Ruling that Michigan Absentee Ballots Must be Received by Election Day

July 14, 2020 11:00 am

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DETROIT — The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld that local clerks must receive absentee ballots by Election Day in order to be counted.

This means all eligible Michigan voters must mail or drop off their absentee ballot in time for their clerk to receive it by the August 4 primary.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Michigan, Arnold & Porter, and Goodman Acker vowed to appeal this decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Other states have similar policies in place to help ensure that every vote cast is counted, including Alaska, Iowa, Maryland, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

The lawsuit, League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Benson, was filed in the Michigan Court of Appeals on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Michigan and individual voters.

The following is reaction to today’s ruling:

Theresa Lee, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project: “Michigan’s restrictive Election Day deadline is a clear violation of the will of the people and the state Constitution. We will continue fighting for Michiganders’ voting rights and plan to appeal.”

Sharon Dolente, ACLU of Michigan voting rights strategist: “An Election Day receipt deadline for absentee ballots, as opposed to a postmark deadline we are fighting for, violates the right of the people of Michigan to submit an absentee ballot by mail during the 40 days before an election. This could lead to tens of thousands of voters being disenfranchised this year. We must ensure voters have the full timeline to submit their ballots from home by mail and give Michigan clerks and staff more time to process ballots. This is what Michiganders overwhelmingly voted for when they passed Proposal 3 in 2018.”


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