Whatley Goes to Court Over MI Voter Rolls, Sues Democrat SOS, Claims Fraud

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has filed a lawsuit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, alleging that Michigan’s voter rolls are excessively inflated.

“Jocelyn Benson has failed to follow the [National Voter Registration Act], leaving Michigan with inflated and inaccurate voter rolls ahead of the 2024 election,” Michael Whatley, Head of the RNC, said this week about the situation.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, claims that Michigan is violating the National Voter Registration Act’s requirement to maintain accurate voter registration rolls. The move comes shortly after Trump allies assumed leadership positions within the RNC in anticipation of the 2024 election.

According to the lawsuit, at least 53 Michigan counties have more registered voters than adult citizens over the age of 18, with an additional 23 counties showing voter registration rates exceeding 90 percent of adult citizens. However, it’s important to note that the voter roll system is primarily designed for registration, and outdated registrations often remain in the system as voters do not regularly update their information when they move.

While federal law mandates efforts to keep voter rolls up-to-date, it also safeguards against hasty purges by requiring officials to wait before removing voters who have stopped casting ballots. Despite claims by Republicans that bloated voter rolls lead to voter fraud, there is no evidence to support this assertion.


Secretary of State Benson refuted the allegations, stating that Michigan officials have made significant efforts to maintain the accuracy of voter rolls by removing deceased voters and ineligible citizens. She emphasized that over 700,000 voters have been removed from the rolls since she took office, with another half million slated for removal if they do not vote in the upcoming general election.

The lawsuit reflects a broader trend within the Republican Party to focus on voter roll maintenance as part of their election strategy, particularly in battleground states like Michigan. This legal action coincided with appointing two election lawyers, Charlie Spies and Christina Bobb, to key positions within the RNC. Bobb, known for advocating baseless claims regarding the 2020 election, will serve as senior counsel for election integrity, while Spies, a seasoned GOP lawyer, assumes the role of general counsel.

This move underscores the growing significance of voter roll issues within the GOP’s election law strategy, particularly as they seek to address election integrity concerns and encourage voter participation using existing laws.

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