Priorities USA Supports Legal Intervention in Michigan Voter Rolls Purge Case

January 25, 2022

Today, Priorities USA announced it was supporting and funding a motion by Detroit/Downriver A. Philip Randolph Institute, Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans, and Rise, Inc. to intervene as defendants in Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) v. Benson. In a previous filing, the Public Interest Legal Foundation asked the court to order the Michigan Secretary of State to purge voters from voter rolls after alleging that dead voters were still listed on Michigan’s rolls.

The intervention, which was filed Tuesday, argues that PILF has failed to support this allegation and that PILF’s suit weaponizes the National Voter Registration Act in an effort to force Michigan to purge its voter rolls using error-prone and highly questionable database matching. The intervention motion also argues that PILF’s suit will create new and unnecessary barriers for those who attempt to register to vote in the future. The intervention seeks to ensure that no attempts to remove voters from the rolls goes beyond reasonable list maintenance and that those not already registered remain able to do so without an increased chance of being removed.

“It is a fact that Black and brown communities and students are disproportionately disenfranchised by voter roll purges,” said Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil. “The lawsuit filed by PILF is part of a coordinated national effort to suppress the vote and Priorities USA will not let this go unanswered. Our efforts to protect access to the ballot will always center the communities who are most affected by voter suppression. The intervention supported by Priorities USA in PILF v. Benson will help to ensure that every eligible Michigander is able to exercise their fundamental right to vote.”

“After voting in record numbers in 2020, college students and young voters are facing countless attempts to take away their right to vote—including through voter roll purges. We are proud to join Priorities USA as we fight to make sure every eligible student and young person in Michigan can participate in free and fair elections,” said Rise, Inc. CEO Maxwell Lubin.

“Voter suppression efforts disproportionately impact ballot access for senior citizens. Voter roll purges will only make it more difficult for our hundreds of thousands of members to exercise their fundamental right to vote. We are proud to join this effort to make sure that every eligible senior citizen in Michigan can make their voice heard in our elections,” said Dick Long, President of Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans.