Judge strikes down directive on absentee ballot signatures

absentee ballots
Posted at 1:44 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 13:44:23-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A judge has struck down a state directive that encourages local election clerks to be very flexible when reviewing signatures on Michigan absentee ballots.

The decision doesn’t apply to the recent fall election, of course, because it’s over.

But the case is significant because the policy from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson apparently would have applied to future elections, too.

Benson told clerks last fall that they must presume that a signature on an absentee ballot envelope or ballot application is valid.

Judge Christopher Murray says Benson’s directive was illegal because it didn’t go through a formal rule-making process that involves the Legislature.