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Group Investigates Possible ‘Rights Violation’ At The Polls

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At the polls in Detroit. (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas)

At the polls in Detroit. (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas)

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LANSING (WWJ) – A group that monitors elections in Michigan is investigating what went wrong Tuesday when some voters were asked to reaffirm their citizenship at the polls.

Jocelyn Benson of the Michigan Center for Election Law said they received several hundred calls on a voter hotline throughout the day from people who were confused about a citizenship check box that was placed on the ballot.

Benson said they took calls from citizens in Wayne County, Oakland County and Macomb County as well as in Lansing and on the west side of the state — including some from people who weren’t allowed to vote.

“We know poll workers in the city of Detroit were trained to withhold ballots from people who didn’t complete the check box, and we know clerks in other parts of the state did not even have it on the application at all,” said Benson. “So, there’s an absolute inconsistency to how this was approached and it’s something we are looking into for legal recourse.”

The Secretary of State’s office told WWJ Newsradio 950 Ruth Johnson has the right to put the check box on the ballot and it will be there in November.

Benson said it may be a constitutional as well as voter rights violation. She’s asking anyone who had problems at the polls to call the center at 1-800-R-VOTE.

MORE: Voters Turned Away As Citizenship Box Creates Confusion At The Polls

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