Michigan Appeals Court: Mass Mailing Of Unsolicited Absentee Ballot Applications Is Legal

Sep 17, 2020

FILE - In this May 5, 2020, file photo, Jordan Smellie moves absentee ballots to be counted at City Hall in Garden City, Mich.
Credit (AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA, FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s mass mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications to millions of 2020 voters was deemed legal by Michigan’s appeals court. Judges ruled 2-1 Wedneday that she has “inherent” authority to act under a 2018 constitutional amendment expanding voting rights. The court upheld a lower judge’s decision. Benson, a Democrat, began sending the applications in May to all voters in the battleground state who were not already on permanent absentee ballot lists for the August primary and November general elections, as a way to encourage safe voting during the coronavirus pandemic.