The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan filed a motion last week on behalf of a Michigan resident who was disenfranchised by Michigan’s unlawful voter purging program.
According to the ACLU, Lisa A. Blehm was disenfranchised because she obtained a driver’s license in Georgia. Blehm registered to vote in Michigan in 2006 but moved to Georgia temporarily in 2007 to join her husband who was stationed there temporarily as a Marine. Blehm obtained a driver’s license in Georgia but specifically declined to register to vote because she intended to return to Michigan. She returned to Michigan in June of 2008. When she tried to vote in November, she as told by a poll worker that she was not registered to vote and could not vote in the election. The poll worker failed to give her a provisional ballot.
Blehm was the victim of a statewide voter purging program that removes approximately 72,000 voters from Michigan’s voting rolls each year. The program removes Michigan voters who receive driver’s licenses in other states without issuing any kind of notice.
The ACLU contends that this violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993.
In October of 2008, US District Judge Stephen J. Murphy III ruled that this program did indeed violate the NVRA but the state refused to reinstate purged voters.