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Lawyers Democracy Fund (LDF) is a non-profit organization created to promote social welfare by engaging in activities to promote the role of ethics and legal professionalism in the electoral process.

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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Want to stay up to date about important election integrity issues?

Lawyers Democracy Fund actively tweets to discuss important issues concerning election administration and election integrityBe sure to follow LDF on Twitter to stay up to date on important election news – @lawyersdf.

LDF applauds @KYSecState, who is working with leaders on both sides of the aisle to keep KY's voter rolls accurate and clean. Clean voter rolls are the foundation of a healthy election system.

https://kychamberbottomline.com/2021/05/12/secretary-of-state-says-kentucky-has-seen-bipartisan-success-with-new-voting-process-cleaning-up-voter-rolls/?fbclid=IwAR2RBcDcGiDLJ9XfPMc391vn8GcNBXGGtr_OOmsMLW6ANuemyRMIXGszNxw

Election reforms like #SB1485 keep tens of thousands of nonparticipating voters' unused mail ballots from floating around outside the supervision of election officials. Nothing about this bill undermines elections or suppresses voters. This bill safeguards mail voting!

Katie Hobbs@katiehobbs

This is a mistake that will undermine our elections, not improve them. https://twitter.com/dougducey/status/1392211066659037184

Arizona joins the list of states strengthening their election laws by enacting commonsense reforms that foster public confidence in election administration. Thank you @dougducey and the Arizona Legislature! #ElectionIntegrity #SB1485

Doug Ducey@dougducey

NEW: Arizona is a national leader when it comes to election integrity and access to the ballot box, and today I signed #SB1485 to continue that legacy. 1/

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LDF was quoted regarding mail ballots in an article on the impact of the novel coronavirus on elections:

Beyond delays that could undermine public confidence in election results, some critics of vote-by-mail also argue it is less secure than in-person voting.

“If there are widespread service disruptions due to illness and quarantines, the mail may not be a reliable way for people to submit their ballots,” said Lisa Dixon, publications director for the Lawyers Democracy Fund. “Mail ballots also are an easy vehicle for election manipulation by bad actors, as the secrecy of the voting booth cannot be maintained outside a polling place.”

According to Dixon, state and local election officials have contingency plans for disasters and they appear to be taking COVID-19 seriously, trying to protect both public health and the integrity of elections. As they prepare to mitigate the risk in their communities, a national decree from Congress may cause more problems than it solves.

“At this point, it is important for voters to remember that election officials are committed to running a fair election and protecting citizens’ right to vote,” she said. “The best thing that individuals can do now is to follow health officials’ advice to contain the spread of the virus and allow election officials to make their contingency plans in the hope that they will not be necessary.”

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Latest News

LDF Publishes New Fact Sheet on Georgia Voting Law

Georgia recently enacted Senate Bill 202, an elections omnibus that builds upon many of Georgia’s strong election policies while enacting several practices that make voting easier and are commonly advocated by progressives. Several lawsuits have been filed challenging numerous provisions of the bill on the grounds that they violate Section…

LDF-Backed Michigan Lawsuit Challenging Secretary of State’s Signature Matching Guidance Successful

In a lawsuit supported by LDF, Judge Christopher Murray of the Michigan Court of Claims held that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s last-minute signature matching guidance violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). While Michigan law clearly requires signatures on absentee ballot applications and return envelopes to sufficiently agree with those…

LDF Supports Changes to Arizona’s Election Procedures

Lawyers Democracy Fund recently published a proposal of election administration changes that Arizona should enact to foster greater integrity in Arizona’s election administration procedures. The condensed version of these recommendations is listed below. Poll Observers Overview of Arizona’s Law Relating to Poll Observers Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 16-590, Arizona’s…