Hundreds of Michigan Residents Turn Over Unsolicited Ballot Applications Sent to Dead, Noncitizen, Underage ‘Voters’

In this May 17, 2016, file photo, ballots are prepared for counting at Multnomah County election headquarters in Portland, Ore. The coronavirus has knocked presidential primaries back several weeks as officials worry about voters crowding into polling places. If the disease remains a hazard in November, Democrats say there's only …
Don Ryan/AP Photo

Hundreds of Michigan residents have responded to state Sen. Ruth Johnson’s (R-Holly) request for evidence of ballot applications sent to dead, noncitizen, or underage “voters” by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D).

Breitbart News previously reported that Benson used $4.5 million of CARES Act funds to usurp the power of local clerks to automatically send unrequested ballot applications to all 7.7 million Michigan registered voters.

Several people took to social media or contacted Johnson’s office to complain that applications arrived at their address for previous occupants, many of whom moved away years ago or are dead.

Eric Johnson posted on Facebook that he received an application at his home for the former owner’s dad who has “been dead 20 years.”

In an appearance on The Kyle Olson Show, Johnson contended Benson is breaking Michigan law and even her own department rules with the mailings.

MCL 168.931a states that “the name of an elected or appointed official of this state or a political subdivision of this state shall not appear on any ballot-related material that is provided to an elector.”

A letter to the voter receiving the unsolicited ballot application was signed by Benson and her name appeared in the letterhead.

Benson’s letter invited voters to take a cell phone photo of the application and “email it to your clerk,” which triggered anger from Benson’s own allies.

“My inbox is absolutely flooded with email messages having attachments of photographed applications,” Westland City Clerk and former Democrat state Rep. Richard LeBlanc wrote on Facebook.

“Some are sideways, some have the barcode not showing, most are legible, but all of them are taking an incredible amount of time to print and respond,” he said.

LeBlanc said emails with only an attachment and no message “are not being opened, so I’ll get criticized later for that.”

Further, Benson’s Election Officials’ Manual instructs, “Clerks may not mail absent voter applications without having received a verbal or written request.”

Last week, Johnson put out a request for examples of faulty ballot applications, and she shared some of those with The Kyle Olson Show and Breitbart News.

Johnson has been trying to get answers from Benson to no avail.

Johnson’s Senate Elections Committee scheduled a hearing in early June and confirmed Benson’s attendance, but the day before, Benson informed the committee that she had only allotted 30 minutes for her appearance.

Her presentation used up all of that time and she offered to answer “one” question before leaving.

“What this secretary of state has done is try to take away our decentralized system,” Johnson said, and explained elections are managed by local clerks and canvassed by county clerks before the results are sent to the state.

Johnson is seeking subpoena power so she can compel the secretary of state to appear and answer questions. But that appears to require bipartisan support to authorize such legal demands.

The former secretary of state fears her successor is trying to run out the clock before the 2020 election.

So far, Johnson has found many examples of ballot applications being sent to deceased residents or those who have moved away.

“We’ve got two noncitizens, one 16-year-old,” so far she said, while others received “blank” letters.

Benson “never should have hijacked the locals’ role of sending out the absentees,” Johnson said.

Here’s the first segment detailing some of Johnson’s findings:

She said she’s been told that colleges are registering out-of-state students to vote, and there’s no way to know if they are double-voting because only 40 percent of states communicate about registered voters.

“There’s no system in place for them to get caught,” the senator said.

That could have a dramatic impact on the 2020 election, as President Trump won Michigan by .3 percent, or less than 11,000 votes.

Johnson invited any residents who have received erroneous ballot applications to send that information to her via email at senrjohnson@senate.michigan.gov.

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.

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