Ballot Applications Ask Voters To Affirm Citizenship

LANSING (WWJ) – Applications for a ballot during Tuesday’s election asked Michigan voters to affirm their U.S. citizenship.

When filling out an application for a ballot, a new question was added: Are you a United States citizen? Yes or no.

Civil liberties groups say the question is an attempt to discourage people from voting. But Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says they have a bill pending in Lansing to make the citizenship affirmation mandatory.

According to Johnson, some of those non-U.S. Citizens were under the impression that they could vote because they were asked to register at a Secretary of State.

“We’re going to continue to try and get that in law, rather than just an administration rule, that would put in place a citizenship question before you get your ballot,” Johnson said.

“We’ve encountered two counties so far and we’ve found over a dozen people that checked off that they weren’t citizens but came to vote,” she said, adding that a permanent resident in Kalamazoo faces deportation because he voted.

A spokeswoman from the American Civil Liberties Union says asking people to re-affirm their citizenship is redundant.

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