Michigan’s GOP Sec. of State sows voter confusion with citizenship question on ballot

Updated

Voter suppression—mainly through the use of voter “purges” and onerous voter ID requirements—is occurring in states across the country, as Republicans move to crack down on voting rights in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. 

And in Michigan, it looks like they’re rolling out a new tactic. During the state’s primary election yesterday, voters were asked on their applications for ballots to confirm their status as U.S. citizens. The state’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, had actually opposed adding this citizenship question when it was offered as legislation, saying it was likely to cause confusion. But GOP Secretary of State Ruth Johnson insisted on placing the question on ballot applications, even though voters must certify their U.S. citizenship when they register to vote in the first place.

By midday, Rachel Maddow recounted Wednesday on The Rachel Maddow Show, so many voters had been turned away from Michigan polling places for not answering the question that Johnson ordered local election officials not to enforce the measure. She told poll workers to instead simply read off the citizenship requirement. But by then, the confusion sown by the requirement, predicted by Snyder, couldn’t be undone.

“Why do we have to have an ID?,” Michigan voter Michael Moore asked Maddow . Moore went on to explain that he didn’t mark the citizenship box but was handed a ballot anyway by a gracious poll worker. 

 

Michigan

Michigan's GOP Sec. of State sows voter confusion with citizenship question on ballot

Updated