Lawsuit In Michigan Over COVID-19 Rules For Poll Watchers

Oct 27, 2020

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2020, file photo, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson wears a mask before talking about voting and the upcoming elections in Detroit.
Credit (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

A lawsuit filed with the Michigan Court of Claims challenges Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s Election Day instructions to some poll watchers. The lawsuit says Benson’s COVID-19 distancing rules will make it too hard for poll challengers to keep track of what’s happening.

Election Day approaches next week amid a cyclone of litigation.

One of the plaintiffs in this case is a Republican state House candidate. Another was an August primary poll challenger. Attorney Matthew Gronda says polling place restrictions make it impossible for challengers to do their jobs.  

”The vast majority of what it is they’re supposed to be doing, they just can’t do,” Gronda said.

Secretary of State spokesman Jake Rollow says the lawsuit is an empty complaint that mischaracterizes the directives. He says the rules still allow challengers to make sure voters are registered and are who they say they are.

“The lawsuit is really nothing more than an effort to gain media attention and falsely attack the integrity of Michigan’s elections,” Rollow said.