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Ann Mullen,, 313-400-8562    

March 18, 2024

Read letter to Genoa township clerk


DETROIT, Mich. – The ACLU of Michigan and the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP sent a letter today to the Genoa Township Clerk calling on her to reinstate all voters improperly removed from the voter registration rolls since approximately October 1, 2023. The letter describes how the clerk removed as many as 112 voters based on improper residency-related challenges, likely in violation of state and federal voter protection laws. Today’s letter also raises concerns that the clerk may have also wrongfully removed or considered removing as many as 500 voters.  

In October 2023, the organization Stand Up Livingston submitted 50 affidavits to the Genoa Township Clerk challenging 112 voters’ registration status based on residency-related issues. Wrongly relying on outdated state laws that have been preempted by more recent state and federal provisions, the group called for the voters to be removed from registration rolls within 30 days. After the ACLU learned of this, in December 2023 it called and emailed the clerk’s office raising concerns about the challenges as well as filing a public records request for documents and correspondence related to the mass challenges. At that time, the clerk assured the ACLU that no voters were wrongfully removed. 

On February 7, 2024, the ACLU sent a letter to the clerk, further explaining the ACLU’s concerns about the voter registration challenges, and why it would be illegal to cancel registrations based on Stand Up Livingston’s submissions. The letter also informed the clerk that in order to cancel a voter’s registration based on residency, state law and the National Voter Registration Act require that a voter either confirm a change of residency or both fail to respond to a notice that their registration will be cancelled and fail to vote in the next two federal elections.  On February 12, shortly after the ACLU’s letter, the Secretary of State issued similar written guidance to all Michigan clerks. 

On March 3, the New York Times reported that the Genoa Township clerk had in fact cancelled the voter registrations of many of the voters challenged by Stand Up Livingston. The report contradicted the earlier statement by the clerk that no voters were removed. After the article was published, the ACLU called the clerk on March 8 to try to understand the discrepancy but did not receive satisfactory explanations as to what had happened.  

In that March 8 phone conversation, the clerk’s office indicated that some voters had in fact been removed and that it was reviewing the registration status of not only the 112 voters identified in the Stand Up Livingston affidavits, but possibly as many as 500 voters.  

In addition to calling on the clerk to reinstate all voters who had their registrations cancelled, today’s letter requests detailed information about all voters removed, the basis for removal, the process by which this was done, and other information.  

Delaney Barker, ACLU of Michigan Equal Justice Works Fellow had this response:  

“The ACLU has serious concerns that the appropriate procedures were not followed in Genoa Township in response to improper mass challenges it received last fall. Commonsense voter protection laws have been on the books for decades and are critical to our democracy.  These laws ensure that voters who are properly registered but do not reside at a Michigan address daily – such as members of the military, students, snowbirds and others – are not disenfranchised. We will remain vigilant to ensure every eligible voter has access to the ballot box, and call on all election officials, including local clerks, to do the same.”  

Letter to Genoa Township Clerk can be read below