University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name League of Women Voters v. Benson VR-MI-0076
Docket / Court 353654 ( State Court )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Michigan
Case Summary
COVID-19 summary: On May 22, the League of Women Voters of Michigan sued the Michigan Secretary of State, challenging the statutory requirement that absentee ballots must be received by 8 PM on election day. An oral argument was scheduled for June 18.


On May 22, the League of Women ... read more >
COVID-19 summary: On May 22, the League of Women Voters of Michigan sued the Michigan Secretary of State, challenging the statutory requirement that absentee ballots must be received by 8 PM on election day. An oral argument was scheduled for June 18.


On May 22, the League of Women Voters of Michigan filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Secretary of State in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs argued that the statutory requirement that absentee ballots must be received by 8 PM on election day was unconstitutional when prompt processing and frequent delivery of mail is not possible. They further claimed that the failure to immediately process absentee-ballot applications within 40 days of the election and requiring absentee voters to pay the postage to return their absentee ballots violates state law.

The plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Michigan, and private attorneys, and sought an expedited decision for the August 4 primary and November 3 general election. Michigan allows the submission of an absentee ballot, starting 40 days before the election. During the May 5 election, 1.75 percent of absentee ballots were rejected because they arrived after 8 PM on Election Day. This could potentially mean that 134,000 voters could be disenfranchised during the November election.

The defendant filed an answer on May 29. On June 3, the Michigan State Court of Appeals granted the motion for immediate consideration and expedition of the proceedings. An oral argument is scheduled for June 18. The case is ongoing.

Averyn Lee - 06/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Voting
Voting access
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Appellate Court is initial court
Voting
Election administration
Voter qualifications
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Michigan Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description The League of Women Voters of Michigan
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Michigan
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 05/22/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing VR-MI-0078 : Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans v. Benson (State Court)
Docket(s)
353654 (State Court of Appeals)
VR-MI-0076-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/12/2020
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
Complaint for Mandamus Expedited Consideration Requested
VR-MI-0076-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/22/2020
Source: State Court Website
Order
VR-MI-0076-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/03/2020
Source: State Court Website
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Judges Beckering, Jane M (State Appellate Court) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0002
Riordan, Michael J (State Appellate Court) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0002
Sawyer, David H. (State Appellate Court) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brewer, Mark C. (Michigan) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001 | VR-MI-0076-9000
Callahan, Samuel Francis (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001
Dolente, Sharon (Michigan) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001
Glick, Kolya (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001
Ho, Dale E. (New York) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001
Jacobson, Daniel F. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001
Jones, Robert Stanton (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001
Korobkin, Daniel S. (Michigan) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001 | VR-MI-0076-9000
Lee, Theresa J. (New York) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001
Theodore, Elisabeth S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Meingast, Heather S. (Michigan) show/hide docs
VR-MI-0076-9000

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