Posted on September 19, 2012

Michigan Secretary of State: 4K Noncitizens on Voter Rolls

Chad Livengood, Detroit News, September 19, 2012

One day after being sued over a controversial ballot box citizenship question, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said Tuesday there are an estimated 4,000 noncitizens on Michigan’s voter rolls.

The estimate is based on the state’s access to citizenship information for one-fifth of the population, Johnson said, adding the federal government won’t give her access to more citizenship data.

Johnson said the results of a “very tedious” analysis of 58,000 driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards found 963 noncitizens registered to vote.

Department of State employees cross-referenced those noncitizens with voting records and found 54 have a voting history and have voted a total of 95 times, Johnson said.

Using census estimates that 305,000 noncitizens live in Michigan, Johnson’s office extrapolated that 5,064 could be noncitizens and then lowered its estimate to 4,000 to account for children, spokeswoman Gisgie Gendreau said.

Johnson said the discovery justifies her insistence that Michigan’s 7.34 million registered voters be asked to affirm their citizenship if they vote at the polls in November. {snip}


A group of voting rights advocates, labor unions and citizens sued Johnson in federal court Monday, challenging her authority to ask voters to affirm their citizenship after Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation adding the question to absentee and in-person voting applications.


Johnson, a former Oakland County clerk, said she’s been “turned away” by the Social Security Administration and U.S. Department of Homeland Security in four attempts to verify the citizenship of all registered voters.

“I think the best way is for this administration to do their job and that’s to help us get noncitizens off the voter rolls,” Johnson said.