Priorities USA Supports Intervention to Defend Vote by Mail Signature Verification Laws

April 08, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, The Detroit Downriver Institute of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (DD APRI) and the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans filed a Priorities USA supported intervention to defend against the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) attempts to make it more difficult for absentee voters to cast a ballot. 

The lawsuit filed by the RNC asks this Court to invalidate the Secretary of State’s guidance regarding the verification of signatures on absentee voter ballot applications and carrier envelopes. This threatens to introduce confusion and uncertainty into the signature verification process, and to disenfranchise absentee voters based on minor and inconsequential differences between signatures. 

The DD APRI and the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans are seeking to intervene in the lawsuit so that their members and constituents are able to exercise their right to vote by mail. 

“This lawsuit is a blatant attempt at voter suppression,” said Jim Pedersen, President of the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans. “Older voters are the most likely to vote by absentee ballot and should not be at risk of having their ballot being rejected because of an alleged minor difference in their signatures.”

“This constant attack on the voters’ rights in Michigan is a shameless attempt at intimidation and harassment!,” said Andrea A. Hunter, President, Detroit/Downriver APRI. “This voter suppression tactic will most definitely affect our handicapped, elderly and non-transit citizens who depend on absentee voting.” 

“Any attempt to make absentee voting more complicated impacts not only older and disabled voters, but young voters and voters of color at a disproportionate rate,” said Danielle Butterfield, Executive Director of Priorities USA. “This unfortunately is an all too common strategy from the RNC on how far they will go to disenfranchise voters and their attempts to keep voters from participating in the democratic process.”