Judge Orders Citizenship Boxes Removed From Ballot Applications

October 6, 2012

A federal judge is ordering Michigan’s Secretary of State to remove questions from ballot applications that ask voters to state their citizenship. The judge calls it an un-necessary burden on the right to vote. Michigan ballot applications contain a small box which a voter must check-off to verify they are a U.S. citizen. Groups including the ACLU and other unions sued Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson after she required the citizenship question -- even though Michigan’s Governor had vetoed legislation that would make it a permanent part of ballot applications. Johnson removed the question from absentee ballot applications after she was sued. But she defended the policy in court as a way to prevent what she estimates are as many as four thousand non-citizens in Michigan from, she claims, disenfranchising legitimate voters.