Case: League of Women Voters v. Benson

20-353654 | Michigan state trial court

Filed Date: May 22, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 summary: On May 22, the League of Women Voters of Michigan sued the Michigan Secretary of State, challenging the statutory requirement that absentee ballots must be received by 8 PM on election day. An oral argument was scheduled for June 18. On May 22, the League of Women Voters of Michigan filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Secretary of State in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs argued that the statutory requirement that absentee ballots must be received by 8 PM on ele…

COVID-19 summary: On May 22, the League of Women Voters of Michigan sued the Michigan Secretary of State, challenging the statutory requirement that absentee ballots must be received by 8 PM on election day. An oral argument was scheduled for June 18.


On May 22, the League of Women Voters of Michigan filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Secretary of State in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs argued that the statutory requirement that absentee ballots must be received by 8 PM on election day was unconstitutional when prompt processing and frequent delivery of mail is not possible. They further claimed that the failure to immediately process absentee-ballot applications within 40 days of the election and requiring absentee voters to pay the postage to return their absentee ballots violates state law.

The plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Michigan, and private attorneys, and sought an expedited decision for the August 4 primary and November 3 general election. Michigan allows the submission of an absentee ballot, starting 40 days before the election. During the May 5 election, 1.75 percent of absentee ballots were rejected because they arrived after 8 PM on Election Day. This could potentially mean that 134,000 voters could be disenfranchised during the November election.

The defendant filed an answer on May 29. On June 3, the Michigan State Court of Appeals granted the motion for immediate consideration and expedition of the proceedings. An oral argument is scheduled for June 18. The case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Averyn Lee (6/14/2020)

Related Cases

Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans v. Benson, Michigan state trial court (2020)

People


Judge(s)

Beckering, Jane M (Michigan)

Riordan, Michael J (Michigan)

Sawyer, David H. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brewer, Mark C. (Michigan)

Callahan, Samuel Francis (District of Columbia)

Dolente, Sharon (Michigan)

Glick, Kolya (District of Columbia)

Ho, Dale E. (New York)

Jacobson, Daniel F. (District of Columbia)

Jones, R Stanton (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Beckering, Jane M (Michigan)

Riordan, Michael J (Michigan)

Sawyer, David H. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brewer, Mark C. (Michigan)

Callahan, Samuel Francis (District of Columbia)

Dolente, Sharon (Michigan)

Glick, Kolya (District of Columbia)

Ho, Dale E. (New York)

Jacobson, Daniel F. (District of Columbia)

Jones, R Stanton (District of Columbia)

Korobkin, Daniel S. (Michigan)

Lee, Theresa J. (New York)

Theodore, Elisabeth S. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Meingast, Heather S. (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Appellate Docket Sheet

League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Secretary of State

Michigan state appellate court

June 12, 2020 Docket

Complaint for Mandamus Expedited Consideration Requested

League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Benson

Michigan state appellate court

May 22, 2020 Complaint

Order

League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Secretary of State

Michigan state appellate court

June 3, 2020 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 22, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The League of Women Voters of Michigan

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU of Michigan

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Michigan Secretary of State, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Special Case Type(s):

Appellate Court is initial court

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Voting

Voting access

Voting:

Election administration

Voter qualifications