PILF Appeals Michigan Voter Roll Clean-Up Lawsuit to Six Circuit Court of Appeals

This lawsuit will set the standard for what is “reasonable” under the National Voter Registration Act.  

(Alexandria, VA) – March 27, 2024: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is appealing a ruling from the United States District Court in the Western District of Michigan to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In November of 2021, the Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for violating the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) by failing to make a “reasonable effort” to remove deceased registrants from the voter rolls. The complaint alleges that there are over 25,975 deceased registrants on Michigan’s voter rolls. Of those 25,975:

  • 23,663 registrants have been dead for five years or more
  • 17,479 registrants have been dead for at least a decade
  • 3,956 registrants have been dead for at least 20 years

Throughout the course of the litigation, PILF provided the Secretary of State with the obituaries and gravestones of many of these deceased registrants.

The District Court ruled that Secretary Benson’s refusal to remove the names of more than 25,000 deceased registrants was not unreasonable.

“The Sixth Circuit will get to decide if it is reasonable to allow the names of deceased registrants to haunt the voter roll for decades after their death,” said PILF President, J. Christian Adams. “People should not remain on the voter for twenty years following their death. This case will set the standard for what ‘reasonable’ list maintenance is under federal law.”

The attorneys for PILF in this case are J. Christian Adams, Kaylan Phillips, and Joe Nixon.

Prior case filings and documents in Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Joselyn Benson can be found here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. PILF has brought lawsuits and won victories in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and across the United States.


For media inquiries, please reach out to Lbowman@publicinterestlegal.org

Public Interest Legal Foundation