Some local officials in Michigan are defying an order from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson that ballot applications for the Nov. 6 election include a question asking voters to affirm their U.S. citizenship.
According to the Detroit News
, clerks in some of the state's largest counties have removed the question from applications where citizenship boxes had already been included and others are leaving it up to townships and cities to decide whether to ask voters to affirm their citizenship.
"It seems like it doesn't really add anything positive to the process. People have already affirmed their citizenship when they register to vote," Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope told the News Thursday.
Other elections officials cited Democratic Gov. Rick Snyder's veto in July of a bill that would have made citizenship question law as the main reason they have no plans to enforce the order from Johnson, a Republican.
"What you learn in high school in your civics class is the secretary of state has no authority to override the governor's authority," Democratic Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh told the newspaper.
Johnson insists that the question is only designed to help identify noncitizen immigrants who may have inadvertently registered to vote during the process of obtaining a driver's license. Her supporters say there's nothing wrong with warning people that they may actually be committing a criminal offense by voting if they are not citizens.
But the News reported that the resistance to Johnson's order also stems from concerns that new election regulations and voter ID laws passed by Republicans in other states may limit voter participation in November while doing nothing to prevent perceived voter fraud.
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