LDF Press Release: Secretary Ashlee Titus Speaks before Congress
Ashlee N. Titus, who serves as the Secretary and on the Board of Directors of Lawyers Democracy Fund, testified before Congress on June 11, 2021 in the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections. The Committee’s hearing, titled “The Potential For Polling Place Quality And Restrictions On Opportunities To Vote To Interfere With Free And Fair Access To The Ballot,” focused on means by which to improve free and fair access to the ballot and how to improve polling place quality and reduce lines for voting.
Ms. Titus explained how laws aimed at increasing voter access often fail to increase voter turnout and only risk undermining the entire electoral system they are trying to improve when they are enacted without proper safeguards. She offered a solution to increase voter participation: increase voter confidence by letting states enact election integrity safeguards. Ms. Tituss highlighted the need for states to be free to enact laws that best serve the needs of their electorates.
Click Here to read LDF’s full press release.
Click Here to watch Ashlee Titus’ testimony before Committee.
Click Here to view Ashlee Titus’ written testimony before the Committee.
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LDF-backed Lawsuit Overturns Michigan SOS Signature Verification Guidance
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued guidance in October requiring local clerks in charge of reviewing signatures to presume the signatures on absentee ballot applications and ballots were valid and to further accept the signatures as valid if they contained “any redeeming qualities.” Michigan law clearly requires signatures on absentee ballot applications and return envelopes to sufficiently agree with those on the voter file to be valid.
Therefore, LDF supported a lawsuit to overturn Secretary Benson’s guidance, arguing the guidance violated the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act in how it bound local clerks in future elections without going through required rulemaking procedures.
The Michigan Court of Claims agreed, holding “the standards issued by defendant Benson on October 6, 2020, with respect to signature-matching requirements amounted to a ‘rule’ that should have been promulgated in accordance with the APA. And absent compliance with the APA, the ‘rule’ is invalid.”
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