Lawsuit Filed Against City of Detroit, MI Over 2,500+ Dead People on Voter Rolls

The Public Interest Legal Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the city of Michigan for failing to clean their voter rolls and having over 2,500 dead people still listed.

In addition, over 16k registrations are missing their actual dates of registration and nearly 5k registrants have been flagged for being possible duplicates or triplicates.

The current Mayor of Detroit is Mike Duggan, a Democrat. 

April, in a separate controversy, Detroit officials opened an investigation into Mayor Mike Duggan and the city’s interactions with the Make Your Date nonprofit organization.

Late October, Duggan held a press conference to rebuke any conclusion of wrongdoing following an Inspector General report that was released the day before.

The official press released from the PILF reads:

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a lawsuit today against the City of Detroit for failing to reasonably maintain voter registration records under federal and Michigan law (Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Detroit).

“The City of Detroit is failing to perform some of the most basic functions owed to its citizenry,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “The city government’s nonchalant attitude toward addressing evidence of dead and duplicate registrations exposes yet another vulnerability in our voting systems as our nation works to improve election security before November 2020. Making a federal case out of this was necessary, and I hope we can achieve a resolution before the polls open.

Detroit Quick Facts

–Voter Registration Rate per 2016 Citizen Voting-Age Population: 106%

— # of Dead Registrants Aged 85+: 2,503

— # of Registrations flagged for duplicate, triplicate concerns: 4,788

— # of Registrations Missing Actual Dates of Registration: 16,465\

The initial complaint filed on December 10 explains the Foundation has studied the City’s voter list maintenance efforts since 2017 by a variety of means. Earlier this year, PILF acquired the statewide qualified voter file from the Michigan Secretary of State for the purpose of comparing registration lists against federal death records. The Foundation ultimately sampled all active registrants whose respective ages were 85 years or older, finding more than 2,500 within the age range who were listed in the Social Security Death Index with corresponding death records and/or obituaries.

The Foundation also studied and catalogued examples of single registrants who managed to become registered to vote two and even three times with matching or substantially similar names and other biographical information within the same addresses. PILF flagged a grand total of 4,788 registration files for duplicate and triplicate concerns. Among them, examples of married/maiden name conflicts, simple typographical errors, and conflicting gender designations were trending concerns.

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The Foundation also flagged impossibly old and disqualifying young date of birth information held within the voter file. One registrant is stated as being born in “1823,” well before Michigan was annexed into the Union. Another 16,400 registrants were flagged due to the fact that officials did not demonstrate when they actually became registered to vote.